A sentimental haze

DIANA and Silkken Laumann filled the Grad Club with dreamy nostalgic sounds on Saturday night.

DIANA played at the Wolfe Island Music Festival last summer.
DIANA played at the Wolfe Island Music Festival last summer.

An intimate crowd gathered inside the Grad Club this damp Saturday night to be warmed by the dreamy nostalgic sounds of DIANA and Silkken Laumann.

Upon entering the venue I was met with the sound of Silkken Laumann, the three-piece Ottawa collective consisting of Adam Saikaley, Pat Johnson and Rolf Klausener, performing final checks.

Once the show was in motion the refurbished home was inflated by the coupling of Saikaley’s lush synthesizer sounds and the driving punch of the drums.

Frontman Klausener energized the audience by engaging them in playful banter. Before long the crowd had congregated closer to the stage and began dancing to the harmony found between Klausener’s spacey lyrics and the powerful bass lines.

After that, it was DIANA’s turn to take the stage.

The Toronto-based band hurriedly set up their instruments in the confined space and performed a brief sound check. ”Strange Attraction”, the fourth track off of their summer album release Perpetual Surrender, opened their set.

It was immediately obvious the DIANA have been making strides in refining their live act. The band did well to maintain the intricate layers of their song writing while still working in the heavier sounds found in their studio recordings.

Drawing on a number of influences, songwriters Shabason and Adams captured the timeless greatness of '70s and '80s era pop music. DIANA tie in contemporary drum beats and well-timed saxophone solos to add complexity to their music while still preserving the memorable, catchy nature of the pop genre.

Their ability to expand on old-era pop music was further exemplified in their rendition of Roxy Music’s “More Than This”, a 1982 hit release.

Carmen Elle’s vocal delivery was a highlight of the night, and combined with her heartfelt dance moves, she captivated the audience. This was especially apparent during the last two songs of their set, “Born Again” and “New House.”

During these two closing songs Elle’s deep, resonating voice surged through the venue leaving the crowd in a sentimental haze that was sure to follow them out the Grad Club doors that evening.

[View the story "DIANA & Silkkenn Laumann at The Grad Club" on Storify]

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