Kandle @ Petit Campus – 24 March 2022

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Kandle Montreal

Can someone please explain why Kandle’s show at Café Campus wasn’t sold out?  We are finally getting our concerts back and people are still hibernating. If I can drag my old ass downtown on a  school night, then there’s no excuse Montreal!

The last time I was at Café Campus was in December for Crown Lands and it was packed to the stage, so I was a little surprised to see a bare floor when I arrived around 7:30. It seemed like the majority of the crowd was there for the opener Patrick Krief (The Dears). About halfway through his set, I was approached by an older woman who proudly boasted that he was her son. As most of the people were maskless, I could see her enormous smile that covered most of her face. I nodded and told her that he was very good, and then she boldly exclaimed “I love him so much!”

This made me pause and imagine watching my own adult son performing one day with that much adoration, and right there the performance hit me on another level.  

Krief was accompanied by only one other musician (his guitarist Vincent) which intensified his bluesy guitar riffs and contemplative lyrics. His deep and moody voice evoked a Leonard Cohen vibe and his writing style gave off a hint of Bob Dylan. He said that he was a little anxious to be playing new music, but nobody seemed to notice.

Kandle sauntered onto the stage fashionably late with her bright blond ponytail and her brilliant band bouncing behind her.  I’m not sure what was more ballsy, making her entrance to a recorded track of her own song (No Good from Inferno) or the fact that she mentioned how much she enjoyed walking on stage to the sound of her own song.

Based on her catalogue, I was expecting her to be less talkative and more morose, but she lived up to her name, illuminating the dreary club with her charming banter and edgy effervescence.  

Who else can write and perform a song called “Cemetery” and get a crowd full of strangers to sing and dance along…feeling cheery? 

From the slow and sultry “Not Up To Me” to the raunchy “Bender”, Kandle’s vocal range was truly impressive with just the right amounts of softness and rasp.

Filling the awkward gaps in between songs with her sharp wit and self-deprecating humour, she kept telling us that she was nervous but she sounded better than on her records. Reaching for her bottle of throat lubricant next to her feet and spraying her mouth, (even offering it to the audience) Kandle confessed to having a dry mouth due to medication. Sharing her experiences with anxiety and how difficult the last couple of years were somehow made us all feel even more connected. That is what great artists do. They bring us together, allowing us to share an experience that we didn’t know how badly we needed until we showed up and allowed ourselves to feel.

(Most nights I lay on the couch numbly scrolling through my phone, succumbing to my embarrassingly unhealthy addiction to sour gummy bears. I love how they are initially very sour at first and then the longer they linger on my tongue they get sweeter and sweeter until they melt away and then I can’t stop.)

Miss Kandle was full of tasty surprises which I thoroughly enjoyed. Especially her version of “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” (Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty).

Dipping her toes in all the genres, punk/ folk/ blues/country Kandle has that rare ability to sound timeless and current. She was sweet and sour, gentle and rough, vulnerable and a little dangerous. Highly addictive.

Saving her best for last, she closed her set with ”Demon”, with no encore and left us wanting more.

  • 1. Know My Name 
  • 2. In Your Shadow 
  • 3. Child Of Fate
  • 4. When My Body Breaks 
  • 5. How Can You Hurt Me 
  • 6. Cemetery 
  • 7. But I do 
  • 8. When It Hurts
  • 9. Bender
  • 10. All That I Need
  • 11. Stop Dragging My Heart Around 
  • 12. Not Up To Me 
  • 13. Demon

Review & photos – Annette Aghazarian 

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