Music outside the box

The Artel puts on a night of musical performances

Trelnin was the first performer of the night at The Artel on Tuesday.
Trelnin was the first performer of the night at The Artel on Tuesday.
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St. Patrick’s Day festivities weren’t enough to keep performers away from their craft at The Artel.

The Artel hosted several underground musical acts on Tuesday night, where approximately 30 people packed into the small performance space anticipating an evening of entertainment.

The event was held on the lower floor of the venue.

As the evening progressed, the space became so full that some guests stationed themselves on the adjacent stairwell or in the kitchen area to watch the show.

Although performances were set to begin at 8:30 p.m., there was a brief delay after a member’s dog went missing.

The first act of the night was Wolfe Island-based solo artist Trelnin, who performed for around 40 minutes. Audience members were mostly seated for Trelnin’s performance.

On his Soundcloud page, Trelnin describes his music as “digging expedition, putting what is into what will be, through blood and arterial gushing thinking feeling dragging and reeling in.”

His performance combined a musical production with video.

He began by playing a cello and recorded different arrangements which he then looped back. He then added vocals and sounds from a video montage that was playing.

Although Trelnin’s attempt to combine music and visuals to create an artistic statement was courageous, the performance left much to be desired.

It was hard to focus on Trelnin’s mastery of the strings because the vocals and video were loud and distracting.

It’s as though he was trying to do too much at once, and overall the performance went from a darkly haunting cello arrangement to a cacophonic amalgamation of loud noise.

The performance demonstrated a lack of focus. With little to no background information or context on what he was trying to achieve, the performance drew little emotion other than confusion from viewers.

If Trelnin had explained the purpose of the video montages, the whole act would have come across as less banal.

Taking the stage next was the three-piece band Warmer. With this performance, audience members were on their feet and ready to dance.

Formed in 2013, Warmer consists of Cecily Taylor on vocals, Laura Kelly on bass and Kiel Vereecken on drums.

Although the sound quality could’ve been improved, Warmer got the crowd excited with their uplifting numbers.

With a strong beat, electric and bass guitar and confident vocals, Warmer’s numbers were engaging and easy to enjoy.

Warmer’s performance was more traditional than Trelnin’s, but it was clear that audience members preferred the former.

The last and most anticipated act of the evening was Toronto-based band The Holy Gasp.

The Holy Gasp is made up of Benjamin Hackman on vocals, Daveyoso on percussion, Sebastian Shinwell on electric guitar, Christopher Weatherstone on saxophone and James McEleney on bass.

By the time they took the stage, The Artel was at capacity and attendees were dancing and singing along wholeheartedly.

“It was a lot of fun and a great show,” said Hackman. “Those people know how to dance.”

According to Hackman, the best part of their performance on Tuesday was the positive affirmations and connection the band felt with the crowds.

The band, which had never performed in Kingston before, stuck to an alternative talk-singing folk style.

“You know when you go to the dentist and it’s a little bit scary but then you get laughing gas and it becomes a lot more fun?” Hackman said.

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