A Slice of Canada – how Madison Violet burst onto the Sharnbrook Mill Theatre stage

On 16th May 2019, the fabulous Canadian duo Madison Violet visited us at Sharnbrook Mill Theatre on their Everything’s Shifting album tour. Long-time member, performer and supporter of The Mill Roger Wiltshire explains how this all came about.

Watching live music has been a big part of my life for over 50 years. As part of that journey in October 2006, I went to see Hothouse Flowers at The Stables in Wavendon. I have been a fan of this Irish folk/rock band for many years and once again they put on a great evening’s entertainment. However, that night was the start of something very special for me musically.

I always watch the support acts at gigs I go to. For Hothouse Flowers, the support act was a Canadian singer/songwriting duo with folk roots then called ‘Madviolet’ but later ‘Madison Violet’.

The duo were new to me but by the end of their set I knew I had witnessed something very special that was destined to become a significant musical interest in my life.

Within a short time of these two Canadian women being onstage I was captivated by their personalities, musicianship, incredible harmonies and wonderful songwriting. So much so that a couple of nights later I saw them again in St Albans as part of the same Hothouse Flowers tour.

At St Albans, I got the chance to chat to them after the gig. This was the start of what has become over the years a great friendship with Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac of Madison Violet.

Since 2006, I have seen them many times in numerous different venues locally, in London and in the Midlands. By now they were headlining gigs. I had an ambition, almost from that first gig at The Stables, to see them play in my own village at the wonderful Sharnbrook Mill Theatre which I knew was a venue that would suit them, their music and their intimate style.

I had spoken to them about Sharnbrook Mill Theatre a number of times but things came to a head after seeing them in Leicester playing to an audience of only about 30. I promised that I would be able to get them a much larger crowd in a wonderful setting and a couple of years later things started to come together.

Finally, in May 2019, Madison Violet made it to Sharnbrook Mill and played to what was practically a full house. With fantastic support from local guy David Banks, of The Whybirds fame, the audience were treated to a stunning evening’s musical entertainment. The feedback from the audience was fantastic with so many people taking the time to let me know how much they enjoyed the evening and how impressed they were with the musical quality of the artists performing.

Madison Violet enjoyed the evening too, as evidenced by their comments below. Let us hope that the world eventually gets back to a position where we can get them back. I think we could all do with another magical night like we experienced in May 2019.

From Lisa and Brenley:

Madison Violet have toured across the globe more times than we can recall. Often, we find ourselves a bit road weary, in hopes of a moment of respite, to recharge, while we are attempting to put our hearts on our sleeves, night after night. When we made it to Sharnbrook, although we had a performance that night at the Mill, we found that moment of calm. From the second we arrived, we were treated with the utmost of kindness. Our friend, Roger Wiltshire, had promised to bring us to this little town one day, and he made well on that promise. Our evening at The Mill Theatre was a delight. From a lovely crew, to the attentive audience, to the sneaky tour of the turbine below, it was the perfect evening, only made better by the fact that the sweet accommodations were so nearby, you could nearly spit and hit them (although we didn’t!) 🙂 We look forward to returning to this gem of a venue and adding a new Sharnbrook adventure to our book of road stories.