8 May 2012

Prog folk folk 1

It was called FrogFest (from Folk and Prog[ressive]) and it caught my attention because Ben Hauptmann was playing with one of his bands, BOB. It’s an indie scene, so quite a change for CJ, but I’ve been dropping in to this scene a little recently and I find it intellectually satisfying even if the musical skills are not always to the level of jazz. But the best of it is intelligent and witty and does have impressive musical skills. It’s also a scene I enjoy: down to earth, diversely aged, welcoming and cheerful in a calm and slightly distant pubby way. And best of all, the women drink beer. It all happened at the White Eagle Club so the beer was Polish and the hall was nicely bedraggled but with a decent PA. All nice.

We caught three bands. The first was Cracked Actor. This is a guitar quartet with front line singer sounding to my ears in the style of Nirvana. Their songwriting wasn’t as memorable, but who can match it with Nirvana for a good hook? I heard it more as punk than folk, but definitions are pretty malleable in any modern scene. There were lots of rock beats and four to the floor bass lines and guitar chords in this music. I liked the singer’s voice but I wondered how anyone could play a bass slung so low. I felt uncomfortable with the overt intensity, but then I couldn’t catch the lyrics so maybe they were justified. Checking online, they are a Triple-J unearthed band in the style of squarepusher, Portishead and Radiohead. Cracked Actor are Sebastian Field (vocals, guitar), Nick Delatovic (bass), Jordan Rodgers (guitar) and Spike Thompson (drums).

More to come with BOB featuring Ben Hauptman and Mr Fibby…

No comments: