Archive for the ‘Googies Art Cafe’ Category

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Ashes EP Launch (Stand Up) – Googies Art Cafe – Folkestone – 04.05.13

Pretty Fly (first track from new EP – Stand Up)

Saturday April 4th brought an invitation for an pretty cool EP launch gig in Folkestone.  I always love an EP launch as their seems to be more of a vibe and atmosphere at these gigs, often far more relaxed than a bands usual gig.  Why, I’m not entirely sure but I guess that a band is surrounded by friends and family as well as fans for these things and it seems to have an impact.  So it was with anticiaption that I headed off to Folkestone on this evening.  A venue I have not covered before also, which is always pretty cool as you don’t know what to expect.

I’ll start on the venue itself.  Googies Art Cafe has built itself a really good reputation over the years.  I have frequented the cafe itself a few times in the past, admiring its bohemian style that reminds me of my times on the continent, serving pretty much the best coffee around.  I hadn’t attended a gig here before but knew that the space in the basement was going to be pretty small and I wasn’t sure how this was going to work if I’m honest.  I needed have worried.  Arriving early the place seemed cluttered but was stripped and transformed very quickly.  Yes into a basic shell, concrete floors, a curtained and padded out back wall and sound proofing on the ceiling, I guess what you’d expect from a basement really BUT it has a really intimate, special feel to it.  Like its an exclusive party you’ve been invited too with a cool and trendy urban kind of feel to it.  It surprised me to feel very lucky to be there, but when you look at that standard of pretty exclusive acts that have played this venue it’s not really surprising.  I guess at this point I really should move onto the band review!

As I mentioned I did arrive at the venue early to meet the band and have a chat but had to disappear for a while before their set.  They were supported by the amazing Moccasins who I have reviewed twice previously, so although I didn’t see them this night (apart from their last two songs) I will post up the previous two reviews.  Review one – Beercart Arms – 24.02.13 – Review two – RokanRolla – 29.03.13.  A band that always put on a top class performance and have an extremely unique sound.

Ashes – well I’d heard their EP streamed before the gig but not seen them live.  I’ll get this out there right now, in the open, done and dusted!  What I said to the band at the end of the gig was:  “Wow that was awesome, I think you sound better live than recorded!”.  Now that most certainly does not mean that they don’t sound good recorded by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact I suggest heavily that you buy a copy of their EP and find out for yourselves… just live, they sounded even better.  I’ve deliberated many times over their sound, both during the gig and after and I’m still not there.  It’s not often in life, in fact maybe the only time there has been something I’ve not been able to put my finger on, but these guys have done it.  That maybe part of the attraction actually.  The fact that there feels like a slight piece of the puzzle  missing to me and you know what, it will keep me going back for more.  Truth told, as I’m writing this I’m listening to the EP and I’m still slightly scratching my head, but in such a good way!  Steve Hertz voice… that’s where the conundrum comes from.  But I shall move on from that briefly and come back to it.

Camera at the ready I prepared to start getting shots of the band rocking out!  I turned slightly to the crowd that had gathered (hmm gathered is not the right word here, I was squashed at the front, practically on stage with the band as its packed out).  What am I confronted with, this is a rock band yeah, so what would you expect?  Studs, piercings and tats?  What I’m confronted with is ONESIES AND PIRATES!  Seriously, not what I was expecting at all and certainly not encountered before at a hard rock gig.  This was obviously going to be an interesting set.

The band start and introduce themselves as polite rock, yeah, I’d agree with that.  But rock it is nonetheless   Quite how the band manage to produce such a full and rip roaring sound with 3 members is slightly beyond me.  It speaks testament to their talent as musicians because they manage to produce a rich and full sound that many bands only achieve with at least one more guitarist present.  Chugging and choppy riffs, stripped back bass that then roars out at you making the air around you pulsate, melodic yet crisp guitar and energetic, hypnotic drums give this band an overall awesome sound.

Now back to Steve’s voice, oh I’m going to struggle again now!  I’d say it has a real old school kind of sound to it if I’m honest.  You guys are seriously going to have to check this out for yourselves because I am not (for once in my life) going to be able to describe this in a way you will understand.  One thing I can say for 100% definite is, that its held back.  Deliberately so, almost breathy and I would like to say it has an accent when singing but hmm again I don’t think that’s an entirely accurate description.  This voice is carrying across the instruments so easily yet its running on around 50% at all times.  Ha, that is until a particular cover (now if you want to know what it is I suggest you go see them, its worth it!) where this scream emits and you are left wondering, where did THAT come from?  Steve’s voice is for once something that has actually beaten me and I will happily put my hands up to this.

Not exactly what you would expect from hard rock maybe, but all the elements are there and when I woke up the next day my neck hurt, which says a lot.  This is a different sounding type of hard rock, polite hard rock maybe the best description actually but its refreshing!  That different that I actually witnessed Irish dancing from the onesie clad crowd, but that may say more about the people they knock around with (lol).   Sweat dripping everywhere I think the crowd danced the entire set which was quite a feat in a small hot basement.  They had my admiration for their dedication!

A few covers thrown in to boot and the band announced that a cover of Led Zeppelin – Rock and Roll was to close the set.  An extremely brave choice and one I was concerned was going to end with disappointment   No, far from it, the guys really did it justice and at this point the camera was no longer in use.

I have to say that this was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  The atmosphere was amazing, everyone had a really great time and they guys have produced some really unique sounding stuff here that they can be very proud of.  Put it this way, I’ll be going to their second EP launch in Ashford on Thursday 23rd May at the Windmill Inn… so what does that tell you?

Huge thanks guys for inviting me along and I’ll be seeing you in a few weeks!

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

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Here follows a tiny amount of the photography taken on the night.  For the full evenings photo’s please go to Facebook, this gig only

Photo’s by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

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