Perhaps it was the torrential rain. Perhaps it was a lack of promotion. Or perhaps it was just Vancouver. But, surprisingly, only a handful of people made it through the sheets of rain descending on the city for Maria Taylor’s gig at The Media Club.
Taylor did her best to put on a good show despite playing to a largely empty room. The multi-instrumentalist started the show on a second set of drums, before them switching to guitar and later playing keyboards. As well as a lead guitarist and drummer on the band, she had her brother, Macey Taylor, at her side on bass.
She laughed off the ridiculously poor turnout. Taylor jokingly thanked the 15 people who turned up for the show and called out to their roadie to bring shots of tequila for the band. As she grimaced drinking the shot, it was clear that she is not a fan of tequila. Still, she called for a second round, and a fan bought a third round.
“Last time I had shots, I got pregnant,” joked Taylor. Tonight, she said, her son Miles Taylor Dwyer was tucked in bed asleep, 1.7 miles from the venue.
The singer/songwriter from Birmingham, Alabama, is touring in support of her fifth album, Something About Knowing, The record was influenced by the birth of Miles in May 2012. Taylor has talked about how she worked on the album in bursts, when he was napping.
“Instead of taking a shower during those times, I’d run downstairs with the baby monitor and write and demo up songs.”
Something About Knowing featured heavily on the set list. But Taylor switched back and forth from her latest album and her back catalogue. Over her five albums, the multi-instrumentalist has honed a warm style of laid-back indie folk with country undertones.
Live, it made for an uneven set, with the upbeat, dance beat of songs like Tunnel Vision sitting along the mellower folksy numbers like Folk Song Melody. This is both the allure and frustration of a Maria Taylor album. What makes it work is the warm vocals that create a consistent feel on her records.
On this soggy Friday night in Vancouver, in front of a sparse audience, Taylor brought that warmth to The Media Club. Her charm onstage turned what could have been a disastrous show into an intimate performance for what felt like an invited group of fans.