October 15, 2007

Patrick Watson, Grad Club, Kingston, 9 February 2007

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 1:18 pm by rgsc

photo by Djenvert, taken 15 May2007 at la Boule Noire, Paris

It is old news now that Patrick Watson won the 2007 Polaris Prize. I was quite surprised with the announcement as it never occurred to me that he was really even in the running. I got the album days prior to seeing him live in February and while I was very impressed with his live performance, the album didn’t really do it for me like some of the other albums that were nominated. That is not to say, however, that Watson didn’t deserve to be on the list or that he doesn’t deserve the prize, as “Close to Paradise” is quite a striking album. Since the prize was awarded I have spent a little more time with the record and its strengths are becoming more and more apparent.

In “Close to Paradise,” Watson and his bandmates crafted a series of lush lullabies. The songs are filled with swirling electronics from which guitars and piano emerge. But things are not always so straightforward, as the dreamlike melodies are punctuated by shifts in tempo and volume and the songs build into crescendos and which, on occasion feature carnivalesque moments (see ‘Weight of the World’ and ‘The Storm’ for example) that, while not nightmarish, certainly unsettle things. Watson’s dynamic voice keeps you enthralled throughout as he croons and warbles, dips and soars. Watson has a wide vocal range and easily shifts from delivering his lyrics in a soft, almost whispered, voice to a powerful falsetto. The Grad Club seemed to be an ideal place for seeing Watson perform. The intimacy of the songs were reflected in space and it felt as if Watson were letting us in on a series of carefully guarded secrets. They performed the majority of the songs off “Close to Paradise”, a selection of which you will find below. Watson is a confident frontman, getting lost in his songs when playing, but emerging to engage with the audience, chatting and telling stories.

Patrick Watson, Grad Club, Kingston, 9 February 2007

* Giver

* The Storm

* Weight of the World

* Slip Into Your Skin

* Luscious Life

Buy the Polaris winning Close to Paradise.



  1. Jacob Frautschi said,

    I know what you mean about it lacking that in-your-face impression on first listen, but the careful or repeat listener is rewarded with subtle, yet brilliant production that is so advanced and polished I can see why the album won.

  2. delphine said,

    Oh I totally agree with the previous comment…but now i just listen to the album en boucle. really brilliant.

  3. Zaid Khan said,

    Hey Rodney,

    If you get the chance to get around to the whole show, we’d sure love to hear it at http://patrick-watson.net


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