Acoostic Sessions: Live musical performances in and around Montreal, showcasing the cavalcade of talented musicians the city has to offer.
Mike Neville and Ash Montgomery have been lifelong friends, both growing up in rural Quebec towns just outside of Quebec City, and have been playing music together, on and off, for the last 13-14 years. Both have strong connections to Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) neighbourhood.
“I’ve called it home for half of my years spent in Montreal,” says Mike. “It has also been the home to the majority of my closest friends. Given that, it has served as the backdrop to a wealth of fond memories. The quiet tree-shrouded streets that connect its main arteries have always been my favorite part of the borough. It’s only fitting that we found ourselves there to record this song.”
Ash has very similar feelings. “There’s definitely some nostalgia there! It’s where I lived in my first ever tiny basement apartment, which I thought was pretty sweet at the time. NDG was my home base and bubble for a good six years and was a good transition into my move from the country to Montreal.”
For Ash, the memories continued to build after her transition to the city. “I lived in two more apartments within the same Sherbrooke Ouest vicinity. Highlights include losing my cat then finding it four months later, taking my first stab at adulting, park hangs, and living room dance parties. Most of my classes were at Concordia University’s Loyola Campus and I worked at Bofinger, so the bubble didn’t drift too far away from the limits of Monkland and Girouard Park. Good times in the Deedge!”
The pair also have nothing but love for Melbourne’s The Cat Empire. “In 2007, I was working in an office above a mall, and one day on my break found myself listening to a world music compilation at one of the listening stations in a music store. That’s when I heard ‘The Lost Song’ for the first time,” Mike recalls. “In the weeks that followed I gravitated back to that same spot just to listen to the track. The trumpet riff gripped me and I hummed it constantly. I eventually became a fan of all The Cat Empire’s music, but there’s no doubt ‘The Lost Song’ will always be my favorite.”
Ash feels the love just as much. “It’s one of my favourite Cat Empire songs hands down! Their live versions are always different, which I love. Any song with good harmony is a winner for me. The Cat Empire are a band that I grew to love even before my two-year stint in Australia and it’s awesome that they have a huge following here in Montreal too.”
Words – Zac Strevens
Camera, Audio, Editing, Direction – Zac Strevens