An Evening With Jill Barber

Why yes, that is an autographed vinyl copy of Jill Barber's Mischievous Moon.

Not only was Friday the second #LunchUpGuelph, it was also an Evening With Jill Barber. Could this day have been any better? Likely not.

The eve started with a nice glass of wine with my friends Dr. V. and Carolyn. We chatted about running, marathons, and health, with a bit of work thrown in, and of course, shenanigans. After that, we met up with Cody and Sarah who were saving seats for us in the second row of the Dublin Street Church; the location for the concert.

Note to my mom: I went to church! So, I’m good for the year now, right?

I’ve never seen a concert in a church, save for choral type music. I have to say, it was really pretty cool. There was a smell of incense in the air (or as I mentioned to Victoria – It smells like Church in here); a smell that I happen to love as it makes me think of Christmas mass when I was a kid. The organ-as-backdrop was rather epic too. The setting was quite intimate, especially since we were sitting in the second pews from the altar/stage.

Eventually, the band came on the stage and started playing. Jill Barber entered from stage left. While her band was decked out in black, she was in a very sparkly white dress and heals. The contrast was pretty striking. She had the air of an old-time movie star, crossed with a pin-up girl from the 50s. Sultry, seductive, beautiful. And then she started singing. Her voice is even more amazing in person than it is on her album, and that is saying a lot. I’ve been trying to come up with the best way of describing her voice, but the only words that come to mind are sultry and sensual and completely feminine. She seems like she has been transported from an era long-gone-by. Her voice is unique, and timeless, and completely soothing.

Between songs, she chatted with the audience; telling us stories about her life, some of the instruments, and her band members. They included a violin-hickey sporting child prodigy, a pianist/accordionist Doctor of chemical physics, an amazing Upright Bassist who was apparently available for the single ladies (and possibly single men) in the house, her amazing drummer, and her guitarist/road manager (if I remember correctly). It was clear that the band enjoys spending time together. There was a certain obvious mischievous between them. This only made the concert that much better; it was as if we were watching an amazingly smooth and flawless rehearsal; one that we were privileged to take part in.

After the concert, the band played with the church organ while we waited in line to chat with Jill, purchase some music, and have her sign the items. Up close and personal, she seemed very down to earth and personable. She took the time to not only sign my LP, but to chat with me about it and then personalize it for me. Very cool Jill. Very cool indeed.

Anyway, I’m so glad I was able to see her in concert. I look forward to her next visit to Guelph. I’m definitely going to make a point of seeing her again.

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