Madison Violet arrived for their first visit to Lincolnshire’s premier Americana venue, the Town Hall, Kirton in Lindsey, right in the middle of their current UK tour which had started at the Shetland Festival and will conclude at the Black Deer Festival with a number of local dates in between, all originally meant to happen twelve months ago. So with some catching up to do, the trio, Brenley MacEachern on a variety of guitars, harmonica and vocals, Lisa Maclsaac on fiddle, guitar and vocals, and Jake Zapotoczny on keyboards, guitars and backing vocals, wasted no time getting the show up to a high tempo with songs such as ‘Lorelee’, from their acclaimed 2009 album ‘No Fool For Trying’ and ‘Tell Me’ from their most recent release ‘Everything’s Shifting’ that came out in 2019. Straight away MacaEchern and Maclsaac seemed to be in great form, possibly inspired by the location, here in rural Lincolnshire. They are keen to quiz promoter Brian Chudley on the local history, clearly intrigued by this rather unique setting.
Had the tour gone ahead last year as planned it would have been to promote the most recent release ‘Everything’s Shifting‘ but as we all know touring was off the schedule for everyone, so MacEachern and Maclsaac set about working on a follow up. However during the restrictions an opportunity came up to buy their very own Airstream Recording Studio, something they had dreamed of for some time. In recounting the story, MacEachern recalls the serendipity of discovering that the father of the guy who was selling the studio was actually the engineer that worked on her very first album with Zoebliss back in the late 1990’s. The purchase was made and the brand new album, ‘Eleven’, due to be released at the beginning of July was recorded. With this in mind it was no surprise that four numbers into the set we were treated to the first from the forthcoming album with ‘Golden Embers’, a beautiful number that whets the appetite for more. This is followed by a powerful foot tapping, hand clapping rendition of ‘Ohio’, before returning to new material with ‘Sweet Desperado’ with some sublime vocals from MacEachern and also ‘Here For You To Love’ where Maclsaac takes the lead with equal effect.
After a short interval the trio returned with another of the new songs from ‘Eleven‘, namely‘Not Allowed To Love You’, a powerful, poetic song of loss where the voices of MacEachern and Maclsaac combine and weave an almost spiritual magic that has the audience spellbound, hardly daring to breathe. A couple of tracks from the previous album follow ‘All Over Again’, and the deeply personal and moving ‘Time To Right The Wrong’ with it’s clarion call chorus encouraging both action and immediate interaction from the audience. From here the trio takes us back in time, right back to the very first Madison Violet album, ‘Worry The Jury’, from 2000 on ‘Haight Asbury’, quickly followed by ‘Come As You Are’, which became the title track of their 2012 live album, before completing the set with the wonderful ‘These Ships’. Of course they were not going to be allowed to leave without returning to the stage for an encore as the boisterous local contingent clapped, stamped, and hollered for more. Returning to the stage is a slight misnomer as in fact the trio once having retrieved their instruments came and perched on the front of the stage before treating everyone to a simply beautiful acoustic rendition of ‘Small Of My Heart’.
Show over, it was time to meet and greet at the merchandise stand and for the local clientele to take advantage and buy the forthcoming new album ‘Eleven’, well before its official release. However don’t tell anyone, apparently it’s meant to be a secret.