FEEDER + BROTHER & BONES + KEZIA
For the large proportion of my life, going to a gig has meant venturing in to dark basements or the back rooms of pubs past dubious men in overcoats to watch bands struggle with ropey sound systems and minimal audience interaction. Every now and again, however, a gig comes along that offers you something different and tonight, on the gloriously named Lusty Glaze beach, was one such gig. Lusty Glaze is a horseshoe shaped cove just up the road from Newquay on the North Coast of Cornwall and is perfectly shaped to capture sound and so is perfect for an evening of live music.
Shortly after reaching the beach via the long and winding staircase (I didn’t fancy the option of taking the “queue jumping” zip wire down the cliff), it soon became clear that the mood was relaxed, friendly and calm – pretty odd for what had been advertised as a rock show. Within 10 minutes of arriving a nervous blonde girl shuffled on to the stage with a guitar, approached the mic and introduced herself as Cornish singer-songwriter Kezia. The Camborne lass’s gentle plucking and sustain laden vocals drifted out across the beach and made the perfect background music to sit with friends, sip a beer and watch the sun go down. A cover of Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ worked well within a set of original material that also features some excellent Piano work but my one fear for Kezia is that she seems to write music that is perfect background music for idyllic evenings on the beach and that’s a fairly niche market to go for.
Talking of niche markets, Brother & Bones are up next with their consistently unique and refreshing blend of rock, folk and soul. Now I’ve seen Brother & Bones a few times before in a variety of venues on cold winter nights and sunny spring afternoons and they have always put on a fantastic show. But seeing them perform tonight in front of a Cornish cliff face with seagulls circling overhead and the orangey glow of a sunset lighting up the stage takes their music to another level. ‘Here Comes The Storm’ and ‘Back To Shore’ mean more when performed on the coast and the sparse strains of ‘Gold and Silver’ ring out like a 21st Century sea shanty across the Celtic Sea. Like watching Hamlet in the Globe Theatre or hearing a Gospel choir sing in Queens, some things are just improved by the surroundings they are experienced within and the music of Brother & Bones definitely falls in to that category of art form. The band have a new EP on the horizon and from the new material they played tonight it sounds like they are going from strength to strength but the live arena is where these guys excel so keep an eye out for their autumn tour if you can’t make it to one of their remaining festival shows.
Judging by the t-shirts adorning many a punter at Lusty Glaze, there is no doubt that Feeder are the big pull tonight but there is a strange feeling that is hard to point your finger on. There is anticipation but not quite excitement, happiness but not quite exhilaration and there are fans but not quite fanatics. So when Feeder hit the stage and start to work through their songs it’s no surprise that the gig has the feeling of a local band playing in front of their supportive mates rather than internationally recognised rock superstars playing an uncharacteristically small show. But then Feeder have always been the unassuming, nice men of rock and from Grant Nicholas’ thanks to both support acts to numerous bits of banter with the Cornish crowd, they do nothing to dispel this impression. ‘Buck Rogers’ and ‘Just The Way I’m Feeling’ get the crowd singing along as the sun gives up and sinks behind the horizon but it’s new tracks ‘Idaho’ and ‘ Generation Freakshow’ that indicate that Feeder might just be back to their pop-rock best and that is no bad thing. For all they lack in the bad-boy attitude that you might expect from a British rock act, Feeder do provide a cracking live show with pitch-perfect songs and timing that Rolex would be glad to have. Some might say Feeder have become a little predictable but if you asked any of the hundreds of fans making their way up the winding stairs from Lusty Glaze this evening I think they would be more inclined to call them reliable and that is nothing to be ashamed of.