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Penny Ikinger

Penny_Ikinger_by_Marilyn_JeanetteMystic Eyes/Maurice Flavel


Friday, May 23, 2014

As I waded through the hustle and bustle of the overcrowded venue I felt I may have been misinformed as to the place and time I needed to be. Eventually I found myself tucked away in the little cosy and quaint Four5Nine bar. I received the receptacle containing my beverage of choice and continued to chat with my acquaintance while I imbibed. As the surrounding people continued relaxing and partaking in small talk, slowly their attention was captured by a young lady who had snuck up onstage.

Mystic Eyes. As all eyes zeroed in on the stage, Lisa MacKinney was building her wall of sound with her keys. It was a loud, intense and somewhat psychedelic drone. The slowly evolving piece allowed the audience to use their imagination. As if my drink had been spiked with soma, I felt like I was on an interplanetary escape. With her guitars she created more layers and then, all of a sudden her piece – song feels unfitting – was over. We were caught off guard, but it was a fantastic ride.

Even during the sound check I knew we were in for a treat. Cool Maurice Flavel took to the stage with his two men-at-arms. Maurice invited the people to indulge in the tales of misery from love as they encapsulated the mood. The guitar man sat crosslegged on a stool and delivered delectable notes and rhythms and perfect harmonies. On the violin was a master bowman floating on stage and in and out of each song, playing incredibly at just the right time. Maurice is a fantastic, cool and stylish crooner with heartbreaking tales delivered exquisitely and together these three men form a formidable triad of mesmerising melodies.

Penny Ikinger was warmly welcomed on stage and solo delivered her reverie of droning distorted guitar. Loud and moving, her vocals added to the textures of her songs like an oil painting with deep layers. The deeper you look the more you find. It was a continuous barrage of sound that as a guide, allows you to drift in and out of consciousness. She invited her drummer on stage and it was a change of pace. The songs were shorter and more accessible. He rocked out some killer beats for her and together they painted some abstract for the audience. Penny seems very at home on the stage. She was quite comfortable even during some technical difficulties, as if she were just playing for some friends. She acknowledged the talent that has come out of our small city and also acknowledged the people who had come to see her: “I don’t draw a quantity crowd a draw a ‘quality’ crowd.”  But I think we got the better end of the deal with a more than quality performance.  It was a very entertaining night all round with brilliant performers.




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