Caught 3 nights of NXNE. Saw Franz Ferdinand on Monday. And the perfect subdued capper to a string of wonderful shows, I saw the captivating Scandinavian singer Tina Dico performing a solo acoustic gig at the El Mocambo just this past Tuesday. It was a last minute decision that I decided to head down to the El Mocambo, but I'm glad I went. You may know Tina as a featured vocalist, and newcomer, with the downtempo , chillout band Zero 7. I caught her and Zero 7's exhilirating performance several weeks back when they stopped at The Opera House for the Toronto date of their tour. What a wonderful show that was! [Check out my review of that show.] I felt really, really privileged that I caught Tina's solo gig in Toronto because she's performing in only a select few cities on this mini-tour. Toronto sure lucked out on this one!
I can only describe Tina's music that night as soul-ful, acoustic pop. 'Soul', in the sense of conveying emotion and passion. With just her vocals and guitar, she mesmerized the audience and had a wonderful rich sound which filled the room. Tina has a singing style filled with warm, rich tones that never resorts to the vocal histronics of so many other, less interesting, singers. Even more pleasantly surprising was how competent Tina's guitar playing was, she managing to play creative and interesting guitar arrangements over her wonderful vocals. Tina played most, if not all, of the songs off her excellent "Far" EP [which I purchased at the show, and has been in constant rotation in my CD player]. I believe she played other songs as well which are not on the CD, so I hope to track down those in the future. [If anyone has a setlist, please drop a comment my way.] Tina came back for one encore. Well, actually Tina was going to leave the stage after playing her last song, but it was so obvious that me and the crowd wanted more. She made a motion to leave the stage but then came back almost immediately and said she felt "silly" going backstage because she'd be all by her lonesome. The highlight of the evening was Tina's acoustic rendition of the Zero 7 track "Home" which captivated the audience. She performed one more song after that, thanked the appreciative audience, and humbly left the stage. She's too wonderful for words and I can't stop gushing!
It doesn't hurt that she's a wonderfully attractive, yet approachable woman. Some fans ended up speaking to her after the set, and after purchasing her CD, I made the decision to get her autograph, and maybe say a couple of words to her. I'm not really much of an autograph hound but I'm really glad I got her autograph. I asked her about Zero 7 and she said that they are, at the moment, back home, but that she and them will be hitting the summer festival circuit this summer. So I complimented her for a great show that night, shook her hand, and wished her well during her stay in Toronto. Let's hope she comes back to Toronto!...Now, if only Zero 7 vocalists, Sia Furler and Sophie Barker, would come to Toronto for solo gigs, the circle will be complete! [check out my pictures!]