The Gig: Coeur De Pirate
Where: The Mod Club, Toronto
When: 11 November 2011
In One Word: Radiant
Last Friday night Coeur De Pirate played to a sold-out audience at the Mod Club at the release party for the band’s second studio album Blonde. Montrealaise singer Beatrice was radiant as she performed songs from the new album as well as tracks from the first album which she referred to as the band’s “classics”.
The French-Canadian band has seen an enormous spike in popularity in the months leading up to release of the new album. A Facebook account for the band which sat at 2,500 fans has swollen to 600,000 practically over night. On-stage chanteuse Beatrice admitted she was pleased and a little overwhelmed by the audience response. It was the band’s first ticketed performance in Toronto in 3 years – [the band did play a free open air performance for St. Jean Baptiste day earlier in the year] and they seemed a little surprised to be playing to such a large and loving English-language audience. (To compare, Karkwa, the first French language band to win the Polaris Prize, played to a smaller, tamer audience at Lee’s last month and the performance garnered significantly less notice from the weekly magazines).
On Blonde we see the band step back a little from the raw emotionality of the first – but if the second album has more pop sensibilities, which is to the band’s advantage. The band’s expanded sound draws on pop from the 1960s for its acoustics as well as aesthetics – Beatrice looks sultry in a throwback black number which is reticent of a lounge singer from that era.
After about an hour of play, the band gets off stage. (In a moment that is a bit embarrassing, the crowd starts calling for an encore before the songstress finishes her set). There is a generous five song encore which follows- and Beatrice invites her beau Jay Malinoski (Bedoin Soundclash) to the stage to join her for an English language song for one of the lower points in the show. (A cover off of the Weeknd’s recent album comes off as another cheap ploy for attention). But Beatrice’s enormous stage presence stays strong throughout, and she positively beams as her audience sings the words of her closing song back to her in perfect French.
It was an overwhelmingly successful record release party for the band, and the new release is bound to garner attention from the Polaris community next year.
© Natascha Malta, Music Vice
Pictures of Coeur De Pirate at the Mod Club by Brian Banks:
Coeur De Pirate