March’s A Folking Good Night was a very special one for us, as it featured the best of Smugglers Records. For those in the know this is the home of the sublime Cocos Lovers, who were one of the main reasons this very night began back in September 09. Cocos began events early as only they know how, taking advantage of the hordes of people who descend upon Camden Lock every weekend, for an impromptu busking set with their friends The Bucket Boys, who were over from Amsterdam for a week playing a series of gigs. Its good to see bands exploring and taking on such opportunities to get their music heard, and by all accounts they went down well, sold a bundle of Albums and gained new fans. Once everyone had made the short stroll up the road to The Enterprise, the evenings’ proceedings could begin.
Smugglers Records really seem to be on to something, there’s a fantastic sense of community amongst their artists, they’re all very different musically but couldn’t be closer as a group, and this transpired into the atmosphere of the night. Will Varleys’ fiery folk and dark, piercing yet occasionally humorous observational lyrics kicked the evening off, followed by Camden local and FGN regular Harry Cockburn, whose quirky tales of nightvision goggles, jugglers and friendly pheasants went down a treat with the audience. The Momeraths took things up a notch, they’re the sort of band who almost instantly can bring a smile to even the most Scrooge like of characters, theirs is a fun filled set, but the playful songs belie an immaculate musicianship which holds it all together tighter than a pair of Mick Jaggers’ jeans.
Tom Farrer & The Pharaohs’ foot stomping sing along folk-rock songs carried on where The Momeraths left off, creating a buzz as the headline act prepared to take to the stage. Cocos Lovers, for those who haven’t yet had the pleasure, are simply a must-see band. A truly inspirational 8 piece folk and roots outfit with vocal harmonies to die for, and once again they didn’t disappoint. These folk (ha! Folk!) deserve any success that comes their way and surely it will with the recent release of their debut album ‘Johannes’. As if to highlight the sense of togetherness, Cocos first invited The Bucket Boys on stage to join them (making it eleven musicians on the small but ever willing Enterprise stage), then cut their own set shorter than normal to allow The Bucket Boys to finish things off with a bang.
Having never seen the The Bucket Boys ourselves, we were intrigued as to what awaited us, and they did not disappoint. Words almost cant do justice to their performance, but in essence we witnessed three hyper active semi-naked dutch musicians (who had met, befriended, and taught the art of squatting to Cocos Lovers back on the Cocos 2009 European Tour) produce an electro charged set with a bucket, a piece of string, a broom handle, a banjo and three powerful yet melodic vocals. The bucket provided the rhythm, the broom handle and string attached themselves to the bucket and formed the bass sounds, with the banjo frantically keeping up. What ensued can only be described as ‘Bucket-Americana-Punk’, and as whisky was passed from stage to audience, and the bands energy went on a one way rocket ride upwards, the audience was sent into a floor shaking frenzy. As Tom Farrer proudly gleamed, “people wouldn’t believe this is a folk night!”
Except it was, and goes to dispel any notion of folk nights being laid back relaxed affairs. Thank you to Smugglers Records & Harry Cockburn.
Lewis & Jenny, A Folking Good Night