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Live Review: Miss Quincy, Liz Stringer, This Way North

26 April 2016 | 11:24 am | Maxine Gatt

"Someone light the fucking campfire," she quips before covering Patsy Cline.

First up for the night is This Way North, a bluesy-pop duo and they're impressive given that they've only played one gig in the past year; we look forward to seeing how this band develops. Drummer Cat Leahy, who also drums for Miss Quincy, and is tonight's standout performer.

Liz Stringer performs solo on acoustic guitar in this small, dimly lit room. In between songs, Stringer's folk-styled banter - during which she reveals the reason why she no longer plays the banjo in her set and also tells us her late grandmother never supported her choice to pursue a career in music - gets a warm response with much laughter. Stringer's rich tone captivates and the punters up the back cease muffled conversations to listen. It's A Long Way Down, Stringers' song "about getting pissed" receives audience cheers.

Canada's Miss Quincy steps on stage in a gold sequined top and Olivia Newton-John-style black disco pants. A tight, soulful rhythm section complements Quincy's simple, noodling electric guitar work and gospel-infused vocals. A bluesy doo-wop sound is created (without the backing vocals). Quincy references herself as "punk rock", which leaves the audience a bit confused, and technical problems with her equipment take the sting out of the beginning of the set. Eventually overwhelmed by equipment problems, Quincy steps off stage, borrows Stringer's acoustic guitar and claims the middle of the dancefloor. From here, she faces the small cluster of audience members at the back of the room while her bandmates sit silent in the shadows. Punters standing along the bar now gather closer, some sitting on the floor, as Miss Quincy delivers country songs and the show becomes intensely intimate. "Someone light the fucking campfire," she quips before covering Patsy Cline. It's disappointing to have lost her band and the songs fall flat.

As the night fades, bassist Aurora Jane announces they have fixed the technical problems and the band finish the set with two songs. The small crowd gathers at the front of stage at Quincy's request and the energy lifts for the first time in her set. The night's final pair of songs is warmly received.

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