Maloney plays intimate set at the Pond

Singer-songwriter  takes advantage of low turnout.

Sometimes the smallest crowds can show the greatest appreciation, and Pat Maloney’s show at the Pond was no exception.

For an audience of just thirteen students at the campus pub, the Ontario-based musician performed songs from his new album, Repotting. Maloney’s music has a refreshing folk sound with a hint of country. The simple mix of vocals, guitar, and a reverb whistle mic was really pleasant and, combined with the small crowd, allowed listeners to focus on the lyrics.

Maloney often took pauses between his songs just to tell stories about his life experiences, and to explain the inspiration behind his songs. One instance of this was the story behind “Bruce County Power Trip,” which explores his experiences with wind farms in southern Ontario. After the song came out, The London Free Press published an article in June 2013 featuring an interview with the musician, in which Maloney expressed his approval of wind technology. In response to this, some readers reacted negatively on social media, sparking debates about clean energy with many dismissing Maloney’s environmental stance. In response to the backlash, Maloney wrote another song, “Even in the Fall,” which was quite passive-aggressive in tone and really fun to listen to.

Some of Maloney’s other songs were based on his experiences such as falling for a girl in college, or looking for old photos that were never posted on the Internet. He also performed a couple of songs from his first album, Root Pot, and a Joel Plaskett cover.

Many of Maloney’s songs were relatable and it was easy to feel connected with him on a personal level, especially considering the small audience and quiet venue. There was no pressure for him to be serious or professional; he regularly stopped to chat between songs, or directly respond to a comment that someone in the audience made. He was able to be silly and fun, and that feeling was contagious for everyone as they kicked back and relaxed throughout the show.

Maloney’s most recent album was released earlier this year and is available for purchase on iTunes. To promote the album, Maloney came to Sackville on Sept. 16 as part of his Maritime tour, and he will continue on to the United Kingdom and western Canada in coming weeks.


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