Concerts Concerts NXNE 2011: Wednesday at The Bellvue

NXNE 2011: Wednesday at The Bellvue

Brett Caswell at Bellevue
NXNE 2011: Wednesday
Charlotte Cornfield, Brett Caswell
The Bellvue in Toronto, ON
June 15, 2011

Review by: Max Mertens
Photos by: Michelle Cortese

After learning my lesson about working a 9-5 restaurant job while covering NXNE last year, and being exhausted after only the second night, I was determined not to make that same mistake again.

The Bellevue is a small bar tucked away in the heart of Kensington Market, and its intimacy was perfect for Audio Blood's opening showcase, which was cheekily named "Go Folk Yourself". Even though drinks weren't allowed on the patio, everyone was excited to be in the sunshine, and the whole event felt more like a gathering of family, friends, and significant others than anything else.

Charlotte Cornfield

After stripped down performances from Emma Hill and Revelstoke, the small crowd was treated to a set of folk pop tunes from Montreal-based singer-songwriter Charlotte Cornfield. Though she calls La Belle Ville home today, Cornfield told the audience about growing up in Toronto and exploring Kensington, joking that, "When I was younger, I used to walk by this corner and think I'd never be cool enough to play it." Her humbleness, combined with catchy songs about cooking accidents in the kitchen with her brother, Lake Superior, and listening to Pavement on summer afternoons, had everyone nodding their heads.

Charlotte Cornfield at Bellevue   Charlotte Cornfield at Bellevue   Charlotte Cornfield at Bellevue   Charlotte Cornfield at Bellevue  

Brett Caswell

Brett Caswell was the last act of the evening, and came on just as the sun was slipping into the horizon. Though he was slightly drowned out at times by the chattiness of the crowd, many of whom had been drinking since the early afternoon, he managed to prove why he's one of the finest storytellers to come out of southern Ontario. Performing with only an acoustic guitar and a keyboard, and without his band The Marquee Rose, Caswell managed to keep toes tapping as curious Kensington cyclists and pedestrians stopped by and listened in. You couldn't have asked for a more mellow or relaxing start to a festival.

Brett Caswell at Bellevue   Brett Caswell at Bellevue   Brett Caswell at Bellevue