Peaness, Caro and Kelora – The Social – February 12th 2019

I went to a gig on Tuesday night.. Wrote a review and then forgot to post it.. Whoops!! 

I’ve liked Peaness for a few years now. Ever since a friend, an old school teacher of Jess, sent me a soundcloud link of their debut release, Fortune Favours The Bold, (review here) I’ve been urging Peaness to grow. 

I wrote about Peaness in my top ten of 2015 (here) and could barely conceal my joy after seeing them live for the first time at Leicester’s Handmade festival (eFestivals review here). 

Last night at a free Huw Stephens presents gig at The Social, they once again proved why they’re worthy of full attention. They make a fine sound for a three piece; lovely harmonies and melodies that hark back to your finest summer ever. It might be cold outside but Peaness cheerily warm the very cockles of your heart (and yes, I did use cockle deliberately there).

The trio smile on stage like it’s going out of fashion; there’s no moody faux here or mumbling grumbling. Instead, the between-song banter revolves around Gregg’s vegan rolls, whether or not Huw Stephens is actually in attendance and how they’re heading home to Chester after a late-night radio session (and this gig) because work beckons in the morning. An exhausting schedule but not one that appears to break the spirit. 

I go to the gig with a friend, Gary. On paper, Peaness are probably not his thing with his preference being for a meatier (or folkier) sound. But his head sways and toe-taps from the start. “I’d go and see these again given the opportunity”, he reveals.

It is very hard to not love Peaness. 

 

There are a couple of other bands playing this showcase. Caro are tight, competent and destined for bigger stages. They’re not afraid to mix things up a bit though obvious reference points would be Alt-J and Wild Beasts. “Ooh, this one’s very XTC“, says Gary – and he’s most certainly right. 

 

The first band of the evening, Kelora, didn’t entirely grab our attention. But that was no fault of theirs. Gary and I were still catching up after not seeing each other for almost a year and so arrived in the midst of their set. The insane levels of chatter from one table near to us rendered listening to the act nigh-on impossible – but from what I did hear, this was light, uncomplicated pop, not the finished article in terms of a live show but possibly intriguing on record. 

 

Another great night out in London watching music put on for free. And a reminder that gig-going is always better when you’re sharing the experience with mates.  

Brian Lopez – Static Noise

Festival season is starting in earnest with The Great Escape down in Brighton from this Thursday. To say that I’m a little bit excited is a mild understatement. I’ve never been before but with so much new, live music to discover in a town that I don’t know that well… I’ll be that kid in a sweet shop again. 

 In truth, I’ve already sucked my first and second festival gobstopper of the year. Perhaps the Rock and Blues festival at Butlins Skegness in January doesn’t properly count but the wonderfully compact Handmade festival in Leicester was a fine way to spend much of the May bank holiday weekend. My eFestivals review has now been posted here.

 I really should be voraciously poring over the schedules for The Great Escape. I sense that my plans should be meticulous if I want to see the custard cream of what’s on offer.. But instead, contrary to the end, I’ve been diverted by the latest video from Brian Lopez. To the best of my knowledge, Brian is not playing at The Great Escape. Indeed, he’s probably still at home over in the USA, packing his suitcase before heading across to Europe in a couple of days. He reaches England in June when he tours with Howe Gelb and Giant Sand. Those could be cool shows. 

 The video to Modern Man, a fine shimmer of a track taken from Brian’s Static Noise album, is something of a juxtaposition. A floral shirt frenzy, the suggestion is that the three characters within are far from the modern men being sung about by Brian. And when the might of the Samurai sword is released, I think we might all be aspiring elsewhere. The photography enthralls though and the scenery stuns. It’s a fine watch and a fab tune.

 

 

 This isn’t the first video from Static Noise that has captured my attention either. A couple of months ago, I was going to write about the track, Crossfire Cries. It’s a tune that’ll get into your head. The accompanying video will appeal to those of us who still play with Lego when we’re supposed to be working. 

 

 

It all brings me back to the video for Brian’s song ‘Persephone’. If you watch one video today, then watch this. A charming animation, it surely won’t fail to pluck at your heartstrings. I guess we all have secrets that we’ll take to our graves.

 

 

Mostly, I’d suggest that these three very different videos work because of the quality of the songs. Perfectly showcasing the talents of  Brian Lopez, I’m off to listen to the complete album. And then, I’ll pack my suitcase for Brighton.