2013 Harmony Arts Festival

Kate Reid

Date and Venue 9 August 2013, 4pm | Pacific Arbour Garden Stage, Millennium Park

Reviewer John Jane

Overlooking the picturesque Burrard Inlet under a warm late afternoon sun, local singer-songwriter Kate Reid entertained the crowd at the Garden Stage with a collection of self-penned songs that ranged from mellow to manic.

With only her own guitar as accompaniment, Reid kicked off with the contemplative “Identity,” an autobiographical tune from one of her earlier albums. She followed up with the mellifluent “When I was a Little Boy” – a curious title considering the singer’s gender. More in keeping with her ipseity was her next song, “The Only Dyke at the Open Mic” from a personal experience at an East Vancouver watering hole.

Reid is loud n’ proud about her sexuality and even regards herself as a social educator of sorts. But not all her songs are autobiographical. “Captain Cupcake” about a cross-dressing tugboat skipper is a tongue-in-cheek account of looking for love in all the wrong places.

Reid gets back to more familiar territory with the metaphorical and melancholy “Close to the Water.” A tune that sounded like it could easily have been written (and even sung) by Joni Mitchell. The singer finished off the 45-minute concert in the park with a droll ditty perhaps inspired by her partner’s drinking habits, “My Baby is in the Beer Tent Again.”

The conservative middle-class West Vancouver festival crowd would hardly expect to be Kate Reid’s usual audience, but there was no doubting their appreciation of the easy-going singer with more to offer than her exceptionally pleasant voice.

© 2013 John Jane