The Roaring Girl Cabaret

The Roaring Girl Cabaret


"The Roaring Girl Cabaret deliver a spicy mix of jazz, classical, opera and folk with an overall sound that walks the line between traditional and contemporary. In Last Night's Party Clothes is a smart, sexy, sly and delicious debut." CHARTattack


In Last Night’s Party Clothes (2008)

“A Roaring Girl (whose notes ‘till now ne’er were)/Shall fill with laughter our vast theatre.”
-Thomas Middleton, The Roaring Girl

Some music is meant to be heard in dark clandestine lounges, where candles cast shadows on the walls and the scent of opium and Gauloises fills the air. Some music is meant to be heard in majestic theatres, all klieg lights and plush velvet seating, where the boom of tympanis and the graceful lilt of a bravura mezzo-soprano echo off the gilded rafters. Some music is meant to be heard in the quaintest of Old World locals, cozy pubs where Guinness flows like water and a weekend fiddler and his mates can’t help but burst into an impromptu ceilidh.

Toronto’s Roaring Girl Cabaret concocts a captivating blend of all these things and more, combining the dazzling technical prowess of an opera-trained vocalist with the unpretentious joy of a fiddle-driven reel, the mathematical precision of jazz-inflected rhythms with the swagger and sigh of the saddest country ballads. Though one could posit the group’s sound – a sort of magical contemporary spin on classic European cabaret music – is more than the sum of its parts, to suggest such a thing is to underestimate the formidable talents who make up the Roaring Girl Cabaret.

The RGC is on the verge of becoming one of T.O.’s finest musical supergroups. Guelph native, Co-founder and frontwoman Miranda Mulholland brings a background in Opera Performance and classical violin to the stage, skills that have served her well in stints as both a theatre actor and as a singer and violinist with countless bands (the Mahones, the Paperboys, Luther Wright and the Wrongs and her own Mulholland Drive, as well as cameos on albums by everyone from Justin Rutledge to Sarah Slean, to name just a few). The de facto roaring girl in her own cabaret, Mulholland is expertly assisted by jazz-trained guitarist Jennifer Bryan (whose metalhead pedigree also lends the RGC a hardcore edge), bass ace Adrienne Lloyd (a classical geek who sidelines as one-third of alt-rock spitfires Hunter Valentine), and percussion whiz Robin Pirson, who got his start playing grimy country bars with his cowboy-wranglin’ dad before pursuing post-secondary studies in jazz. All told, you could probably a dictionary-sized tome with the core quartet’s collected resume credits – and that’s not even counting occasional Roaring guests like N.Q. Arbuckle, Sarah Slean and Justin Rutledge (all of whom show up on the RGC’s stellar debut album).

After a year of honing their craft in live settings (through innovative performances that have included burlesque dancers-as-merch girls, synchronous collaborations with visual artists and busker-type musicians planted in the crowd), the Roaring Girl Cabaret are finally ready to unleash (to paraphrase one of their song titles) the lion in the streets. That is to say, they’re about to present the world with their first full-length recording, Last Night’s Party Clothes.

The album is stunning in its ambition and scope. You’ll find an arch postmodern reworking of Kate Bush’s ethereal (and still relevant) “Army Dreamers,” bolstered by the sly addition of a Yankee banjo intro. You’ll find a cover of contemporary Hogtown cabaret king Kevin Quain’s heartbreaking “Las Vegas,” and another of alt-country sweetheart Jenny Whiteley’s blackly comic “I Scare You.” You’ll find Mulholland’s controlled vibrato curling around the satisfyingly bloody “Lion In The Streets,” like a smug cat chasing the stumbling pizzicato strings and staccato guitar. You’ll find the lazy-Sunday duet “Sweet By And By,” an irreverent take on an old-school pas-de-deux that comes off like gospel after a few too many shots of bourbon. You’ll find the fizzy hiccup of “Champagne,” a delightful trifle based on bons mots from bubbly mogul Lily Bollinger.

This is required listening for anyone who’s ever reeled from the sucker-punch of one of Tom Waits’s junkyard roots rambles, anyone who’s swooned in ecstasy after stumbling upon an vintage tinny recording of Sarasate, anyone who’s grinned in glee at the hyperliterate wit of a dark Weill and Brecht excerpt. Most folks assume you can’t find music like this anymore, and they’re right – unless you’re lucky to enter the fantastic inner sanctum of the Roaring Girl Cabaret.

Classically trained on violin and in voice, Miranda is a versatile performer and in high demand as a fiddler and singer covering a wide range of styles.

In addition to varied studio work, she has toured extensively in Europe and North America with the celtic rock bands The Mahones and The Peelers, The Paperboys, The Glengarry Bhoys and the alt-country band Luther Wright and the Wrongs. She was a member of the Canadian cast of Barrage and was the vocal and fiddle soloist for the Irish dance


Lion In The Streets

Written By: Miranda Mulholland

Lion in the Streets

There's a lion in the streets and I can't come out to play,

But I can hear the bleats of the lambs who'll bleed today.

And the silver chord is loosened and I have no regrets.

I hope that you'll forgive me but I never will forget.

And my lucky star shines as he stumbles through the door,

And I know as I pour the wine, sticks and stones will break bones no more.

And I sing...

Broken glass at my feet and the smell of almonds in the air.

He said it tasted wrong, but he didn't speak for long.

And the golden bowl is broken, with a helpful push from me.

Ne'er a truer word was spoken; death is swallowed in victory.

Champagne (Lily Speaks)

Written By: Miranda Mulholland

Champagne (Lilly Speaks)

I only drink Champagne when I'm happy or when I'm sad.

When I've been very, very good or when I've been bad.

When I have company, I consider it obligatory.

When I am solitary, I dabble in it too.

Viens vite, mon amour.

Je goûte les étoiles.

Sers-moi le champagne,

La douceur exquise

Et mes secrets se dévoiles

When I feel celebratory, I deem it to be necessary,

When I'm plagued with melancholy it provides the needed cure.

When in love it's compulsory and when broken hearted gives me sympathy.

I trifle with it when I'm not hungry and I drink it when I am.

Otherwise I never touch it.....unless I'm thirsty.

Sweet By And By

Written By: Miranda Mulholland

Sweet By And By

I want us to be in that number

When we finally sleep the long slumber
And nothing will tear us asunder
Up in that sweet by and by.

I will climb your delectable mountains,
And I'll sip from your glorious fountains,
And we will lay down in the pastures we've found
Up in that sweet by and by

There will be no bitter apples of discord.
We will dine on honey and milk.
No bed of nails, no lonely jails.
We will sleep with covers of silk.

I want us to be in that number
When we finally sleep the long slumber
And nothing will tear us asunder
Up in that sweet by and by.


In Last Night's Party Clothes, 2008, Independent

Miranda Mulholland has played/sung on:

Vocals The Baroness Sarah Slean, 2008, Warner (JUNO NOMINEE 2009)
Fiddle Winter in Babylon Kevin Quain, 2008
Fiddle XO,K N.Q. Arbuckle, 2008, Six Shooter (JUNO NOMINEE 2009)
Violin Man Descending Justin Rutledge, 2008, Six Shooter
Fiddle Live Music The Rattlesnake Choir, 2008, Cousin Jeb
Fiddle Man of Your Dreams Luther Wright, 2008
Vocals Courting Stories The Skye Consort , 2008, Ombu
Fiddle Take No Prisoners The Mahones, 2006, Stumble Records
Vocals/Fiddle Mill Sessions The Glengarry Bhoys, 2006, Universal
Fiddle/Vocals Alejandro Escovedo Benefit CD Bob Egan/Blue Rodeo, 2004

Set List

Songs from the album ~

Lion in the Streets
Army Dreamers
The Wendy Song
Passion Play
Las Vegas
Champagne (Lily Speaks)
I Scare You
Conducting Affairs
Crossing the Bar
L'Amour Est Un Oiseau Rebelle
Sweet By and By

Typically a few covers - Leonard Cohen, Kurt Weill, jazz standards etc.