Madison Violet – Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham. Thursday 18/05/2017

Damian gets intimate with Madison Violet and hears about their “adult stopovers” 

Madison Violet is a Canadian folk pop duo composed of singer / songwriters Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac. The duo got together in Toronto in 1999.

They are over on a short tour of the UK under the banner of `The Back To The Roots Tour` which is basically the girls with a few instruments that they can carry. Tonight’s show is split into two sets of around forty-five minutes each.

We get a mix of songs and stories, which in this intimate setting is just about perfect such as `Lauralee` written about a feisty redhead from Lisa`s hometown who had adult stopovers and a healthy love life. This was fine, until the subject turned up at one of their hometown gigs.

The girls share `The Ransom` before the wonderfully catchy `How We See Love`, then play a couple of tracks from the last release `The Knight Sessions` with `The Heat` and `We Are Famous. `

The achingly beautiful `Come As You Are` is aired before Brenley dedicates the show to Chris Cornell of Soundgarden / Audioslave, who had passed away this very day. They felt it was the best gesture as they couldn`t do any of his songs justice.

We get the song `Crying` and some wonderfully intricate guitar work with the girl’s vocal harmonies complimenting each other throughout `Ohio`. Lisa`s fiddle closes out this tune and the first set.

After the interval, the girls return and share a cover of a song who`s lyrics certainly makes you sit back and think with Beyoncé’s `Daddy Lessons. ` `Don’t Let Your Heart Be Troubled` follows before the girls recant a recent visit to the Isle of Eigg, one of the small Isles in the Scottish Inner Hebrides, searching for their ancestral roots, only to meet a fellow Canadian distant relation, who came from their hometown.

The worrying `Trouble` precedes a song called `Hard Love` which was co-written with Angel Snow, A run in with the law for Brenley produces another life experience song with `Baby in the Black and White.

A very personal and emotional song written about the death of Lisa`s brother Henry called `Same Sun` is played before `No Fool For Trying` and `These Ships` wrap up this evening`s proceedings.

The girls hide behind a curtain before heading back and asking for requests. `Never Saw The Ending` is the first to get shouted for, before, thank god, somebody requested my favourite song, the heartbreakingly beautiful `Small Of My Heart. `

Well what can I say apart from that this was a terrific, intimate and very emotional experience of a show. This duo are wonderful songwriters, accomplished musicians and storytellers and it was an evening that had you shuffling through a variety of feelings. This was more than just a gig. although like the name said, the sound was at the root of it all.