If Keston Cobblers Club are a name you are unfamiliar with, I strongly advise you to remedy this. One of the best unheralded acts in the UK in 2017, the 5 Kent based 5 piece (Matthew and Julia Lowe, Bethan Eccleston, Harry Stasinopoulos and Tom Sweet) recently wrapped up a short tour of the mainland in promotion of their superb new record, Almost Home. For Folks Sake were lucky enough to catch the band live in Nottingham in a mid-week show that re-affirmed everything joyous about watching live music.
The band have played in Nottingham a few times before, and supported The Leisure Society at the Rescue Rooms in 2013. It takes dedication to go to a mid-week gig on one of the coldest nights in April, but a hardy bunch of fans did show, and were treated to a 90 minute set showcasing the best tracks from the 3 records released so far. Opening with ‘Bicycles’, the band summoned the reluctant crowd from the bar area to the front of the stage, and encouraged people to dance (the name ‘Keston Cobblers Club’ comes from a cobbler in Keston who would play long shows, and then re-heel the soles of the shoes worn from dancing). It was a whistle stop tour through toe-tapper ‘Wont Look Back’ from 2015’s Wildfire, before segueing into the call and response of ‘Contrails’, which showcased the skills the 5 piece have in harmonising.
Perhaps the biggest sing-a-long’s were for tracks taken from One, For Words, including FFS favourite ‘The Heights of Lola’ and all its tongue-twisting lyrics. More pleasing was that the crowd were clearly KCC aficionados. Tracks from Almost Home were being mouthed back with as much gusto as the older songs, and it is easy to see main set closer ‘Forest Hill’ becoming beloved as ‘Your Mother’ or ‘Dun Dun Dun’.
At a time in the world where things are uncertain, people turn to music to escape, and it is a pleasure to lose yourself in the deftly pitched harmonies, the foot-stomping, singing like you are the only person in the room, music of Keston Cobblers Club. This Wednesday night in Nottingham proved that Keston are a band you can rely on to provide sunshine from the clouds of world-events.