My friend Anne-Mary invited me to a concert at the Nelson Odeon a while back. After hearing her glowing reviews of one of her favorite bands, Le Vent du Nord, and after reading the Odeon’s website, I was all for it.
According to the website, The Nelson Odeon was just an empty grange building near Jeff and Linda Schoenfeld’s house when they bought it. They didn’t quite know what they were going to do with it at the time but they noticed its excellent acoustics and decided to make it a music hall. They restored it beautifully. The place has an intimate authentic feel. No glitz. Just real.
Le Vent du Nord plays Québecois, which is a Celtic-influenced folk music from Quebec, but they add their own creative flair. Some of their songs are from the traditional repertoire and others are their own compositions. I’m an avid fan of Irish traditional music, so I was able to identify with some of the sound, but really enjoyed the differences too. This quote from the band’s website describes them well:
Considered a driving force in progressive folk, Le Vent du Nord captures the energy and mirth of a Saturday night kitchen party, infusing old Québec with a breath of fresh, cosmopolitan air.
I think my favorite song was “The March of the Iroquois”, which the four musicians sang a cappella with a deep rich harmony and resonant voices accompanied only by their one percussion instrument – tapping feet.
Being a percussion player myself (Irish bodhran), this really caught my interest. Olivier told me after the concert that he puts a piece of carpet under plywood, which adds a bit of bass. Then he tapes it to the stage and connects a microphone. The result is magical!