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Former Citytv anchor rocks it out

Those who thought they saw the last of Lisa Saunders and Rob Wozny when they left television better think again.

Vocalist and former news anchor Saunders and drummer Wozny (formerly of Citytv and CTV, respectively) form half the local indie-pop outfit Arbra Hill - a band that seems destined to make itself heard.

The quartet, which also features guitarist Andrew (Chuck) Morden and bassist Leigh Fischer, released its sophomore disc Evolution of Note tonight at Osborne's Park Theatre and put on an ambitious show for a small-ish crowd.

Saunders rocked hard at centre stage, frolicking lightly on the keyboard and churning out 1960's and 80's-inspired vocals. Wozny kept the pep and drove a hard beat. Fischer was more subdued, but let loose during a killer bass solo on "classic Arbra" tune, Ida. Morden's acoustic was admirable.

The problem was how they all came together.

The stage was admittedly larger than the group is used to, and the lack of comfort within a larger space showed. The sound came across jumbled and just noisy at times, which was unfortunate for the great potential Arbra showed.

Snappy beats and captivating riffs promised great things, though the tightness needed to deliver was never achieved - not that the crowd seemed to notice through the entirety of the hour-plus set, which ended up being slightly more Partridge Family than pop charts.

The disc is tight, however, and the show could be chocked up to a just-under-par night that didn't get much of a boost from its warm-up.

Opener Neal Pinto produced a groovy, sort-of-Sealesque sound and pounded out emotion. His acoustic set, which alternated between piano and guitar-backing, didn't fit with Arbra's mood though, and his lack of crowd captivation set a bit of a weird vibe for the main act to take the stage to.

Not a total loss, however, as glimmers can only grow into greatness - where both acts are concerned.

Visit winnipegFIRST.ca later this week for a review of Arbra Hill's Evolution of Note.

Comments

Matt Pearce » Apr 20th 2007, 10:24

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Arbracadabra !!

Arbra Hill » May 7th 2007, 11:39

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That may very well make a good CD title. Hmmm...

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Julie Horbal

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  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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