The Acorn arrive at the student endorsed boozer Night & Day bringing all things musical and particularly Canadian with them. The new academic year hasn’t started yet for most of the students who ordinarily make up much of Night & Day’s clientele. Scattered groups propped up the bar, while a few oldies eyed the invitingly empty dancefloor.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Rolf Klausener called the tiny crowd “muppets”, but no one seemed to notice. What followed could be called a mellow show.
The six-piece, consisting of singer/songwriter Klausener, guitarist Howie Tsui, bassist Jeff Debutte, drummer Jeffrey Malecki, keyboardist Keiko Devaux and the one man band that is Shaun Weadick are each, individually, brilliant multi-instrumentalists. They switch their music-making devices throughout the set, with Tsui, Klausener and Debutte all giving the ukulele a go and giving the audience a distinctive Canadian folky feeling.
For this is the country of Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell and such genre-spanning acts as The Organ, Broken Social Scene and Death From Above 1979. As Weadick practically molests his drumkit all over with his sticks while hootin’ and a’hollerin’, they still remain sweetly mellow.
The Acorn’s music retains a sense of home, of family – a symbol of this being the album Glory Hope Mountain, released last year and based on interviews with Klausener’s Honduras-born mother, Gloria Esperanza Montoya.
His lyrics are peaceful and intelligent as he sings of “the sanctity of soil, wandering roots and living oils” in Hold Your Breath and as they play through songs Even While You’re Sleeping and the beautiful Antenna from the new album, their timeless talent underlines that they’re likely to be around for a while.