Floods, fires and fan connections
Canadian folk artist is all about openness
Arguably the best element of an intimate venue is a more connected and interactive show with the band or artist playing. That made The Hub the perfect venue for Craig Cardiff, the Ontario-based folk singer who played on Sep. 19 as a part of The Hub’s weekly event, “What’s on Stage Wednesday?”
Cardiff is known for his unique stage presence. He often involves his audience in unusual and unconventional ways – such as having people read passages from an erotica novel (that was eventually never returned to him after a show, he pointed out), and anonymously writing in journals passed around the audience throughout his set.
“There’s a lot of hard things that people put in [those journals], but there’s also a lot of lovely things,” said Cardiff. “I think that it’s just a chance for people to be honest. It’s sort of by accident, but I connected to the idea that in music or in art […] you can find an openness or an honesty, whereas sometimes we find it hard to talk to each other.”
But while neither the erotica novel nor the journals made an appearance at The Hub’s show, Cardiff still ensured that the audience had a role to play other than spectator. Multiple times during his two-set performance, he invited crowd members on stage to dance along. After calling him out for talking over his set, Cardiff even convinced one attendee to recreate his lyrics through physical actions in real time as he sang.
Musically, his set was a stunning mix of looped guitar and percussive sounds, occasional harmonica and truly heartfelt lyrics. He finished the night with an unplugged, acoustic rendition of “Human” by the Killers that had a certain intimacy and felt more like a campfire sing-a-long than a final encore.
Cardiff showed the same level of reciprocity when we spoke with him following the show. Halfway through an interview, Cardiff began asking his own questions, and we were soon discussing his affinity for Shirley Temples as he recorded the conversation with his iPhone camera, pausing at times to speak directly to his recording.
With his strong emphasis on connecting with his fans, it makes sense that Cardiff’s upcoming album, Love is Louder than All This Noise, was successfully crowd-funded by his fans through Indiegogo. In fact, his campaign raised $11,442; more than double the original $5,000 goal.
“It’s a full band project,” said Cardiff of what to expect from the upcoming project. “It is, essentially, a double album, so we have the acoustics version […] and then the studio version of it with some of the same overlapping songs.”
“All the songs have strong stories,” he continued. “I feel like if I had the indulgence of the crowd, I could give like, the fifteen-minute narrative that made the two-minute long way I remember it.”
Love is Louder than All This Noise is set for release in November 2013.