Archive for the ‘The Rafters Maidstone’ Category

Island Cassettes, The Big Figure and Rokoko at The Rafters, Maidstone 18/05/13

Close your eyes.  Let me take you back to Saturday 18th May at The Rafters.  Go on, close those peepers.  Good, now breathe.

Picture it, a darkly lit room playing warm up music like Justice vs Simian, The Go! Team and Primal Scream.  There’s a wall covered in newspaper articles, an article about Eddie Cochrane alone on a wall and helpfully a stage.  Add to this a compare in a onesie and you’ve got a gig.

First on stage were the Tonbridge based band Island Cassettes.  As Island Cassettes began to launch sounds out of the P.A it was impossible to resist even a slight movement.  Island Cassettes created a tropical guitar sound and vibe as the music washed over people and into their ears.  With an album out on the 1st of June the band played tracks such as their ‘heaviest’ song Italian Bicycles.  The very open stage talk continued as Island Cassettes played Photograph Part Two, but not before explaining how Photograph Part One might as well not exist.  Island Cassettes left the stage after a laconic and tropical set, somehow making summer feel that much closer.

Touring Glaswegian band The Big Figure followed and sounded almost upset when they nearly missed out on the onesie compare treatment.  The four piece met the audience with big sounding acoustic led indie rock.  The Big Figure carried their sound off with passion and energy as they played songs from their own new album due for August.  As their set continued tracks such as Testify brought back flashbacks to Island Cassettes.  Like overly noisy gardeners The Big Figure nurtured the audience and grew the room’s atmosphere and energy.  Another strong set, but then there was only one.

Rokoko made it to the stage and like it were a very weird trip, the onesie wearing man had become a Ring Master to introduce them.  After clarifying it was Rokoko, not Rocoko, they got underway unleashing their own brand of rock and roll with a slightly vintage edge.  Songs such as Partner In Crime, the unofficially titled Toilet Song and She’s So Fine dedicated to ‘all the fit girls’ saw the band going down well with a very receptive and charged audience.  The room gravitated to the stage as if lead singer Kirk’s shirt were a black hole covered in flowery print.  Before their time was up Rokoko dedicated a cover by The View to The Big Figure.  Happily for the audience the Ring Master returned and granted them an encore.  The fans liked this choice, so much so they couldn’t help but join Rokoko on stage.  First one person scaled the lofty heights of the stage as Rokoko pulled off a Kings of Leon cover.  Going into one final original the stage floor space disappeared like free beer at a festival.

….And come back into the room.  Take a deep breathe, wriggle your toes … wriggle them!  Good.  Each band played a strong and accomplished set and were all well received by the audience in an ideal venue.  Discover all these bands, and catch them live!

David Horn

Reviewer on Behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find Island Cassettes on Facebook 

Find The Big Figure on Facebook 

Find RoKoKo on Facebook  

Huge thank you to The Rafters Maidstone for their hospitality

Also to Richard Torble for the use of Photography