Woodenbox with A Fistful of Fivers, Kitty the Lion and Tungsten & Bullhelm – Cafe Drummonds – 17/10/10
After being out for two nights on the trot beforehand, we arrived at Drummonds early on Sunday evening to make sure we got a seat – getting old after all – but we got the perfect view of the stage, managed to get a drink in and all “settled” before the first band, Tungsten and Bullhelm, came on.
My first opinion of Tungsten and Bullhelm, a two piece acoustic band from Aberdeen, was that for just two blokes and guitars, they don’t half make a powerful sound! Bringing out a mandolin and accordion, I thought, oh, I’m not sure this is my kinda thing. But, giving it a go, further through their set, although it’s not something I would usually listen to, I found myself quite enjoying it, although it would be something I would listen to whilst relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. The singer’s voice reminded me somewhat of the bloke from Starsailor, ahh I miss Starsailor. The last song of their set was Aniseed – a nice end to their set I thought. Many of the people in Drummonds were clearly here just to see Tungsten and Bullhelm, with several people leaving after their set.
Next up, Kitty the Lion, a five piece folk band from Glasgow who have been tipped for good things by both Vic Galloway and Jim Gellaty, being named on Vic’s 50 Scottish artists to watch in 2010 and on Jim’s 10 for 2010. They started whilst I was returning from the bar, and my first impression was bloody loud! I almost spilt our drinks with the shock of the noise coming from the stage. Having spied the band earlier having a drink, I was quite surprised at how young they looked, but yet they produced a mature sound. They opened with a song about having orange peel skin which I liked because of the fun lyrics and moving on with Split Ends which has interesting lyrics about getting chewing gum stuck in hair. Down the front there were a lot of fans watching and dancing along, although this is the first time I’ve seen Kitty, they sure have a lot of fans. I’m not sure if this genre even exists, but I would classify Kitty as folky dance, very catchy and professional sounding, I can imagine listening to a whole album of their music, and can imagine they would cross over to the commercial industry, a possible female Mumford and Sons maybe? Before one song Anna, or Kitty, explained that this song is about her gran, who thinks she has a potty mouth, but tonight she was on her best behaviour, I don’t remember hearing one naughty word from her. Closing with Bird Flu, the strong harmonies were clear and I’m glad I’ve come to see Kitty the Lion, and look forward to hearing more in the future.
As headliners Woodenbox with A Fistful of Fivers take to the stage, my first thought is, what an interesting looking bunch of guys for an interesting sounding band – I would be interested to hear how these guys named their band. With six members, this band who are classed on MySpace as a flamenco/experimental folk rock band look rather random, including a Sergio Pizzorno look-a-like drummer, a guy in jogging bottoms singing, and an skin headed trumpet player. The band released their album titled “Home and the Wildhunt” earlier this year, and are signed to Electric Honey Records, a label run by students from Stow College, Glasgow, who have been active in launching the careers of Biffy Clyro, Snow Patrol and Belle and Sebastian. They opened with a song called Immigrant, initially I wasn’t sure but maybe because their music style is so different from anything I usually listen to, trumpets and saxophones don’t often feature heavily in music at the moment. Moving on with Besides the Point, this song produces an interesting sound, with three singers and a trumpet, quite a loud sound but not unpleasant. I’m not sure Woodenbox have that “wow” factor, not for me anyway and I don’t think I could listen to a whole album of their music, but there were definitely people at the gig who would disagree with me. Since the gig, I have sat and listened to the album, and really enjoyed it, I guess we shouldn’t judge on first impressions! I do quite like how they use whistling and clapping in their songs, and I think that makes it easy for the crowd to join in, even if they don’t know the songs so well. The trumpet made me think of ska music, but like more folky ska, and a few songs sounded like a warped funk kinda sound. The more I listen to, the more I enjoy it and the band definitely look like they are having fun on stage. Mixing it up to finish, the drummer comes to the front and plays the mandolin, singing a song which sounds like a sweet little lullaby with a kick. This is probably my favourite song of the set, and leaves me heading home with a smile on my face.
So, all in all I quite enjoyed my evening of folk, even though I wasn’t sure to start with. I wouldn’t call myself a folk music fan before, but since the gig I’ve checked out Tungsten and Bullhelm, Kitty the Lion and Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers further, and would definitely go back to see them again. One gig and I’ve turned into a folky!
Woodenbox with A Fistful of Fivers MySpace
Kitty the Lion MySpace
Tungsten & Bullhelm MySpace