Amsterdam-based psych-soul band ‘Feng Suave’ at The Sebright Arms (05/12/18)
When you see a band mid-week amidst the hustle and they not only unhinge you from your daily life, but in their wake, completely re-adjust your focus, that’s something beyond the control of the many. Feng Suave’s lo-fi psychedelia blends silky bass and reverb’d guitar wrapped around soulful vocals. And when paired with their sensitive lyrics, you cannot help but be encouraged to reconsider what we otherwise take for granted; the stars above our heads and the earth at our feet is all we need. Keeping grounded and in touch with the harmony to be had with natural world is the result of Feng Suave induced daydreaming.
Tonight (5th Dec), was the third night of their first tour, the final UK date and, as one half of Feng Suave, Daniel De Jong, told me after the show, was without doubt the “highlight of the tour so far”. Being their first tour, De Jong wasn’t too sure his vocals would last the duration, a question that had never entered my mind, especially given tonight’s established performance. His lead singer duties required his every vocal range and tone, even the soft croon and hushed notes were used to their full capacity – and you had to hand it to him, his pitch-shifting vocals were mesmerising. As an outfit, the keyboardist, drummer and guitar trio were cool and collected. They gifted us with their grace and warmth.
The evening may have been just as intimate as De Jong went onto compare with the Servants Jazz Quarters (their last London show) but there was definitely something magical about tonight. The interaction from their sold out crowd in response to their every track must have felt pretty rewarding, with the greatest audience chorus arriving with ‘Sink Into The Floor’. Their latest single: Venus Flytrap (an instant hit with BBC 6 Music) and the encore: Notre Ochre were personal highlights.
On the back of a successful year, amassing millions of streams for their eponymously titled debut EP, this tour for the Dutch duo (and touring ensemble) certainly cemented them as ones to watch here in the UK. There’s also a pretty good chance everyone went out into the night floaty, finding “…solace in just noticing the stars above..” It might be momentary but it’s all that we need, truly.
Psychedelic revivalists, Flare Voyant
There is something so completely timeless about the sound (and aesthetic) of the late 60s, early 70s, that it’s no wonder it’s been the inspiration for so many contemporary musicians. A new band that we discovered just before Christmas is the London-based four-piece, Flare Voyant, who rekindle vibes akin to both The Rolling Stones and The Doors. Their early demos caught the ear of legendary producer, Chris Kemsey (who is recognised for his work with the Stones) who recently went on to produce Flare Voyant’s debut EP (released November 2017).
They saw in the New Year by selling out Dalston’s Rocksteady (a gig we were sorry to miss out on) and are currently preparing videos for their EP tracks (due for release in the coming months). Here’s their most iconic single, Ephemeral Romance, lifted from their self titled EP:
Having realised their potential as a four-piece in early 2015, their effervescent blend of nationalities; Brazilian drummer Lucas Roxo, Greco-Italian-Brazilian guitarist Rod Bourganos, French singer Thomas Baignères and British bassist, George Hudson, have paved way for an iconic style, throwback yet distinctly their own. Their infectious EP effortlessly merges Psychedelia, Blues and Rock n’ Roll, with instrumental progressive jamming and the lead singer’s raspy bluesy overtones drawing them close in comparison at times, to not only The Doors, but to their contemporaries, White Denim – Flare Voyant have a strong alliance with 2018’s cosmos; we’re predicting big things from these!
Join us, by kicking back to their EP and by keeping your eyes peeled for 2018’s gig dates here!
The Pearl Harts
(The Pearl Harts and Telegram at The Lexington; Photographer: Tom Foxon)
Help Musicians UK and PledgeMusic celebrated their Emerging Artists Fund 2015 with a fantastic showcase at The Lexington, London, last Tuesday (10/05/16).
I caught the second half and could barely squeeze in the door it was so crowded. Pearl Harts and Telegram were left to take to the stage. It has to be said that Pearl Harts, a grunge-girl-punk duo, have a really empowering stage presence. Their negotiation between vocal and instrumental beck and call demonstrated how well they understood each other and their audience. With a husky quasi-Stevie Nicks quality to the front woman’s voice and percussive similarity to be had with Deap Valley, these were a treat.
Telegram were a riot of a headliner. Without question, these are very much a live band, effusing this effortless raw edge of the 70’s. There was a familiarity, instantly warming. I smiled, realising I could hear my Dad’s Records coming through. With a slight reminiscence of Magazine to them, particularly held between ‘Shot by Both Sides’ and their track: ‘Aeons’. All the while, the frontman’s distinctly Welsh vocals paired with the distortion heavy guitars stand them apart. At times, they almost border on the contemporary shoegaziness of Toy and psychedelia of Temples, but there is definitely more straight-up punkiness to them. A band best experienced in an intimate venue to really cage and frame their raucous sound-wall.
Be sure to get down early for their show at The Latest Bar, Brighton tonight (20/05/16) as part of The Great Escape
(Image; Chasing Heaven Poster; Demii Whiffin)
Flyte, a London based four-piece, have launched their very own club night: Chasing Heaven, featuring the fantastic Screaming Peaches (formally known as Movie) and electro-duo newcomers, Glass.
The first support band: Screaming Peaches are a band I’ve been listening to, and have wanted to see, for ages. They remind me so much of the beautiful experimentalism of Late Of The Pier. With their suave bass lines, echoed vocals, pedal effect guitars and 80’s pop chorus’s, what’s not to love. Check out highlight tracks: ‘Ads’ and ‘Mr Fist’ to see what I mean.
Upcoming band, Glass channel a dark electronic almost 90’s vibe, think No-Doubt with the ethereal of Bjork. Lyrics of haunting hindsight and foreboding presence. Listen to latest single: ‘Be Careful’ an ironic love song, lingering long after the record stops.
Headliners Flyte have a way of creating upbeat alternative pop, with melodies of candid singer-songwriter quality, suffice to stand alone vocally. As you listen you will find yourself hearing nuances of The Kinks’ rooted englishness up against the pace of David Byrne’s wry and whimsy thrown in with Kate Bush’s literary attachment. Altogether addictive. If you’re a fan of music with storytelling at it’s core, harmonised with a backdrop of dreamy romanticism, brimmed with nostalgia of yesteryear, then you yourself, will be taken away by Flyte.
…A review of the night to follow…see you there!