Archive for the ‘The Picture House (Canterbury)’ Category

  • Black Sun Down
  • High Tide
  • Thousands Army
  • Adam Cooney

An unusual night for me to go to a gig but hey, midweek, what better way to spend it than at another gig?  But then you could somewhat describe me as a gigaholic and proud of it too.  Live music is where its at.  This evening saw an invitation from Joe at Black Raven Records to attend one of his once a month Live@ The Picture House evenings.  Looking at the lineup, how could a girl refuse?

Camera and notepad in hand off I trotted to Canterbury, never having stepped foot in the venue before so no clue what to expect.  Now The Picture House is actually right on the High Street of Canterbury next to Subway but it really doesn’t stand out.  I actually walked straight past it at first.  Admittedly there is scaffolding up outside the venue but even then, the front part of the building (a cinema back in 1910) has been split into two, one part sold off and therefore the front of the restaurant/bar is very small.  It is also very darkly painted and therefore has nothing to draw you to it or make you notice it.  This is a HUGE shame, because once you have gone into the very small front, up the corridor, you walk into this amazing room which just opens out right in front of you.  This is where you can see that it was once a cinema, sweeping high ceilings that told of the amazing acoustic sound that would be produced  later in the evening.  A balcony overlooking the large and inviting dining area with numerous ferns and plants dotted around, creating a warm, relaxed  atmosphere.  The staff were extremely friendly and welcoming and the room was just somewhere you wanted to be!  Sofas to relax on, huge mirrors on the walls reflecting the light, relaxing music playing and a wonderful brick feature wall covering the kitchen.  This is a place you want to be and judging by the look of the food emerging from the kitchen and the amount of people eating, I’d highly recommend you go for a meal.

Onto the evenings entertainment.  I was interested to see a mixed lineup.  Not a genre specific gig and these can be worrying as so many get them wrong.  Not this time.  Although all the acts were different they worked together very well bringing relaxing but captivating sets with something to appeal to everyone.  Although I have to say that Joe had been clever enough to chose acts that I think would appeal to most people anyway.

The only downside to the evening, was the lack of preparation beforehand by the venue in getting it gig ready, and having to do this while diners were eating was not conducive to the relaxed atmosphere and put the gig behind schedule.  However, after some toing and froing the relaxation begun again as the first act took to the stage.

Adam Cooney – I had not seen this guy before but coincidentally he had sent me music the day before, for the Kent Session show and GIGgle Pics radio distribution list. so I had actually heard a couple of his tracks.  It was great therefore to get an opportunity to see him perform live and he did not disappoint.  As Adam took to the stage I glanced around to find an appreciative audience with all tables full and as he started to play his guitar and sing, the acoustics of the venue became instantly apparent.  This venue is made for live music.  Adam is a young Singer/Songwriter who has not been on the scene for very long but wow he has a beautiful voice.  I would say its a very soft, gentle, tuneful voice, full of passion for the songs.  This shows also in the emotion on his face when he is singing, he actually feels the lyrics and you can see it.  A lot of his songs were based on personal experiences, encounters with people in his life and they felt very relevant to most peoples lives.  I think everyone could find a song in there that they could identify with.  The room relaxed and started to talk and Adam re awoke the crowd with his lively acoustic guitar playing before dropping the level back to mellow and chilled.  I seriously suggest you keep an eye out for him if you are looking for a relaxing evening out with friends.

1 Adam Cooney (1)

Thousands Army – now how do I describe these guys?  Three dudes, a guitar, violin and a mandolin.  Yes seriously and this should not technically speaking work.  I’m finding myself provided by a challenge here, to try and put across to you what these guys are about and actually I’m looking forward to it.  I just hope I do it justice because this may not come across right, just remember at all times that these guys blew me away!  Firstly we have a guy with a mandolin (this I have not seen before) and he looks like he probably learnt it sitting somewhere up in Tibetan mountains, surrounded by monks.  So peaceful, serene and laid back, even on the lively numbers, I don’t think this guy moved anything other than his hands.  Next up bearded rock looking guy with a guitar, and a voice to match said rock look.  Lastly violin guy who looks like he has stepped out of Harvard and probably was classically trained at a high class music school.  Generalizations I know and probably extremely inaccurate, but I’m using extremes to try and describe to you the vast contrasts surrounding this band.  Now on to sound and this won’t be as easy, as there was such a blend and mix throughout the set.  At the very start the violin just filled the room, soaring around the venue, filling every single space between the audience and into all corners with no place to hide.  On occasion it sounds haunting but at all times enchanting and all encompassing.  Bring in the mandolin, occasionally this seemed to get lost in the music, drowned out by the other instruments.  Just as you think this, the most amazing sound floats over the top, overpowering every other sound you can hear, bringing a strange Medieval/Celtic instrumental that just makes your jaw drop.  Lastly bring in the guitar combined with vocals and you have a Rock/Country/Folk mix thrown into the equation.  Individually this sounds like it doesn’t work.   Technically speaking we now have a Rock/Country/Medieval/Folk/Celtic does Classical, eclectic mix and that does not sound right!  Wrong!  They describe themselves as Folk/Rock and there is definitely a rock element thrown into this at all times.  Stuarts voice actually sounds like its running on a very low percentage and I suspect this guy can really belt a tune if he tries.  The set takes you on a roller coaster of soft, gentle, melodic to up beat, rocky edged music with clean, crisp and at times gravelly vocals.  Each instrument brings something entirely different to the table and mix them up together, give them a shake and what comes out the other side, pure genius.  A sound so unique it simply cannot be described, so at this point I shall stop all attempts and simply say… go and see them… don’t think about it, DO IT!  I promise you won’t regret it.

2 Thousands Army (2)

High Tide – what can I say about this band?  I can tell you I already know I love them.  I covered their EP launch gig at the Marlowe Theatre at the end of last month (see review here) and they were staggering.  It was therefore with a little trepidation that I stood to watch them on this evening.  Why, because they were so amazing last time I saw them and were obviously pretty pumped up for such a gig, I was worried I would be disappointed seeing them perform at a low key gig.  Now honestly, yes they were different this time and no I didn’t enjoy it quite as much BUT and there is a few buts in here as well.  The set was more laid back, the covers not as unique (although Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was still awesome!) and there was a reason for this.  A different audience, a different crowd and a different ambience to the evening.  This crowd was not pumped up, here to watch a lively upbeat frenetic show, they were here to relax and take in some music.  The fact that High Tide can switch it around like this and adapt shows a lot of skill and potential. They do not simply get on stage and just perform, they analyse and adapt accordingly, making them appeal to a wide range of people.  They are almost chameleon, being able to blend with their surroundings, although they never lose their passion or energy.  Yes the set had a more relaxed feel to it but the energy itself that drives them is still apparent and in abundance.  These guys have 48 original tracks and usually perform a 2 hour set so they were really only just getting warmed up when they had to stop.  My only disappointment was the shortage of original material BUT (again) I completely understand why this was and it is purely for my own self indulgence that I wished otherwise.  They have a unique and lively brand of acoustic which is very entertaining to watch and extremely pleasurable on the ears.  Do so!

3 High Tide (19)

Black Sun Down – Joe’s own band or rather one of Joe’s many bands from what I gather (I’ve seen one of the others!) is a Blues/Rock band.  A genre that always concerns me, not due to the genre itself but entirely because (being completely honest here) blues is the one genre I know the least about.  Out of all genres, blues I’ve not encountered a lot of before, so any mention of the word and I start to hyperventilate a little at the thought of having to review it!  Luckily the word rock is thrown in there, as this is something I do know about.  So its actually a good job that most of my reviews are aimed at those of you out there, without much musical technical knowledge, in the hopes of getting you off your sofas and out into a venue to watch some of this amazing stuff.  The one thing I will say is the bass player is about THE most chilled out, relaxed bassist I’ve ever seen.  I’m really not joking here, sitting back in his low chair, leg draped over the other, with his bass balanced on his lap, he looks like he has not a care in the world.  Actually the whole vibe of the band is the same.  You would think they were just chilling out in someones living room having a session together.  They appear to have forgotten at times that there is anyone there watching them.  This is not a bad thing.  Even when a couple of mistakes were made they just laughed it off.  This makes them incredibly endearing to watch, you feel like part of the family.  A set of conga drums brings an unusual element to a Blues/Rock sound and Joe’s voice hit some surprisingly high notes which I did not expect. A real mixed bag of bluesy sounding originals with some rock thrown in, some amazing covers from Jimi Hendrix/Bob Dylan saw the audience singing along and showcased the vocals perfectly.  The band is tight, well rehearsed, despite a few hitches and looks like its having the most amount of fun.  These guys love what they do and they do it well!  A convert here that is no longer as scared of that word and will not be shying away in the future, so I thank you for that!

4 Black Sun Down (13)

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Adam Cooney – 3 Minute Walk Find on Facebook 

Thousands Army – (track coming soon)

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High Tide – Rain Coat Man Find on Facebook 

 

Black Sun Down

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Here follows just a very small amount of photography taken on the night.  For all photo’s please see Facebook, this gig only

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