A worthwhile night of Nu Music at the Horseshoe

Allie Hughes

Nu Music Nights (most Tuesdays) at the Horseshoe Tavern are something I seldom ever attend, and I feel a little bit of regret for that. However, last night I decided to go and found it very much worth my while.

First up was Revelstoke whose name I had heard before but knew nothing more about him. Turns out he plays very mellow music involving lots of loop pedals in conjunction with either a mandolin, a guitar, a banjo or his vocals.

He was very personable on-stage and was extremely entertaining both during songs and between them. My favourite song of his was, according to him, an untitled track. In the song he looped himself saying “When I grow old I’ll go where the summer ends.”

Next to grace the stage (and I almost mean that literally) was Allie Hughes, another name I had heard from place to place and, again, knew nothing about. She was obviously one of the bigger draws of the night- the floor in front of the stage was fairly crowded.

Hughes had quite a bit of help, with a full band supporting her as well as two backup singers. Hughes’ first song was mesmerizing, mainly because it looked like it was choreographed, even though there was no actual dancing involved. During the chorus, Hughes would move her arms and her backup singers would more or less match the movements.

After the first song Hughes and her band showed that they could have a hell of a lot of fun. Most noticeable in the backup band was her keyboardist, who seemed to be grooving along to every song. In one particular song the two backup singers (girls with long hair) did bit of headbanging.

Though Hughes didn’t introduce herself or really talk between numbers, it was clear that she had won over the crowd and possesses some serious charisma.

It turned out the two backup singers for Allie Hughes were there for more than just a backup singing gig- they were 2/3 of Rouge, a three-piece, all-girl synth-pop affair.

I wasn’t quite sure who in the end brought more people to the floor, Allie Hughes or Rouge, but Rouge definitely had more people dancing. Rouge’s beats were infectious, and their two leading ladies (keyboards) were undeniably charming. Though silent, their drummer proved to have a great amount of energy.

Finally, to end the night there was the Montreal band Nash. Though the crowd was decidedly more sparse for this band, they still put on a pretty decent set. The lead singer’s calm and funny demeanour was likely what got people to move a little closer to the stage when he said “Can you guys move closer? I can’t see shit.”

At first I had the band pegged as having a Beck sort of vibe based on their first song “Broken Down Satellite” but at their third song I knew that designation wasn’t right. I can’t quite place my finger on their exact sound but it’s a more rock and roll sound. An enjoyable act nonetheless.

Considering it cost nothing to get into the show (Nu Music Nights are always cover-free) this was a great way to spend a Tuesday night with some (mostly) local indie talent.

Check out a video below of Allie Hughes from last night.


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