Jill Barber: My Perfect Saturday

The Canadian singer-songwriter’s ideal Saturday involves scrambled eggs, Andy Williams’ records, cocktails, and, of course, lots of time with her beloved husband

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Jill Barber, Chances, Perfect Saturday

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With her romantic, lyrical songs Jill Barber is poised to become Canada’s next great chanteuse. She’s putting the final touches on an eagerly awaited follow up to her Juno nominated album Chances; and has written her first children’s book Baby’s Lullaby. Jill recently crossed the country from Halifax to Vancouver to wed author Grant Lawrence, and has nestled herself into the brilliance of a new city, a new home and new love…

“On My Perfect Saturday I would wake up at my leisure, and Saturday mornings for me are all about staying in and making a nice brunch. Eggs, definitely. My simple specialty is scrambled eggs with pine nuts and goat cheese, and then some berries – just a luxurious simple breakfast. I’m definitely with my husband [Grant Lawrence], it’s just the two of us and we would read the papers. I read the Globe and Mail, and he reads The Province and the Vancouver Sun.

We have a really expansive vinyl collection; we don’t even have a CD player. We’re either on the run listening to MP3s on our iPods, or we’re at home spinning vinyl. One of my favourite albums is one that actually belongs to my grandmother: Andy Williams’ Moon River. We also love listening to The WeakerthansReunion Tour, and I just got the new Josh Ritter. Have you heard him? He’s great.


 

And then I might ride my bike over to the water taxi terminal and take it over to Granville Island and do my grocery shopping at the Granville Island Public Market. It’s fantastic. And then if we need a little sustenance we’ll grab a bite at the Stock Market, it’s a fresh homemade soups place at the Granville Island [public] Market. Maybe I’d have the split pea or some fresh fish chowder.

And then in the afternoon I might do a yoga class. I do a lot of hot yoga and flow yoga. There’s a great yoga place in Vancouver called YYoga that was actually started by Terry McBride of Nettwerk records. I went through phases of being in and out of yoga but since I’ve been in Vancouver I’ve gotten into a really great rhythm.

Now that I’ve finished my yoga class, is it cocktail hour? (laughs) To continue on through My Perfect Saturday: maybe around 5-ish I might meet a couple of girlfriends for cocktails at The Diamond, in [Vancouver’s] Gastown. I like a Manhattan or a Cosmopolitan or a Gin Martini… dirty… with olives. We love meeting friends for dinner and I might have people over for dinner at our place especially if I’ve gone to the market and picked up lots of fabulous things, or there’s a great restaurant that we’ve discovered in Chinatown, it’s a Chinese brasserie. This could be the next culinary movement. This place is great. It’s called Bao Bei, and it’s just really fabulous simple food prepared with love in a great relaxed environment. It has the feeling of a real community place in the context of a big city.

And, then, I’m drinking a lot here, I must say, but it is a Perfect Saturday, so I might have a night cap at the Sylvia Hotel which was Vancouver’s first cocktail bar. It’s in our neighbourhood so it’s a local place and it’s where Grant took me on our first date. It’s a hang for literary people and they have a book club there every week, and it’s just a relaxed hotel bar. The night before our wedding, back in May, that’s where we gathered our friends so it’s a special place for me.

Being an artist is the same thing as being a human being. It’s essential that you change and evolve. It’s in the growing that we become better people and better musicians. I moved to Vancouver for love. I’ve been known to follow my heart and it hasn’t let me down.”