Gig Review: Gillian Nicola & The Radio Interference
I arrived in time to catch a few folk tunes, and a Simon and Garfunkel cover by Dawn and Marra, both of whom have lovely voices and mean ukulele skills. After finishing with an original “girl power” song, they freed up the stage for the main event.
Originally from Waterdown, Gillian moved to Toronto while completing a Music and Socio-cultural Anthropology degree at the University of Toronto. That’s where she met bandmates Andrew Ivens and Bruce Scavuzzo, who, along with Peter Johnston and Mike Gerhardt, joined her on stage as Gillian Nicola & The Radio Interference.
The first time I heard Gillian sing, I was blown away. She is a vocal powerhouse. Think Janis Joplin meets Adele. Now throw in a percussionist with a cowboy hat, a barefoot bassist, and two more guitarists, one of them also taking care of the mandolin and piano. Add covers by The Black Keys, Bob Dylan, and 4 Non Blondes into the mix. Then top it off with a serious guitar solo from Gillian’s younger brother – Ben of Hamilton hardcore band Prophets. The last time I saw 5 people have that much fun on stage, I was at a Yasgurs Farm gig, and there were a lot more than 5 people on the stage. Two of them, however, were on stage last night – Bruce, the barefoot bassist, (who has a pretty stellar voice himself) and Andrew, the incredibly multi-talented musician. Those are two guys who live to play music, and can’t stop smiling while they’re doing it.
Bottom line: all of these things made for an excellent show, and my ankle got a solid workout from nonstop toe-tapping.
As for the EP itself, “Afterburn” is Gillian Nicola’s first release. Written and recorded in Halton/the GTA, it features five slow and not-so-slow jams, infused with soul, blues, rock, country, and folk. It will be available online in a few days, so keep an eye on gilliannicola.com. As fantastic as she sounds on it, I assure you she sounds even better live.
Click here to listen to Gillian Nicola’s newest EP.
Review by: Daniela Rupolo