Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cocos at The Ballroom

The Ballroom, Canterbury
Thursday 13th December, 2012


Another Smugglers night. Support from WuluMuru (who I missed) and Gentlemen of Few, looking and sounding a lot slicker than they did this summer. The latter are a teenage Deal band (guitar/banjo/bass/accordion) who incongruously sing songs about riding freight trains to New Orleans, etc. — if any record company execs had been present they'd probably leap at the chance to groom these kids into some kinds of 'boy band' version of Mumford & Sons...for their sake I hope they avoid any such fate, stay close to the Smugglers collective, keep their feet on the ground and evolve organically.

Cocos Lovers are always good, so it's getting quite hard to write about them. This set was defined by the absence of flautist/vocalist Nicola (studiously working away on her enthomusicology degree up at SOAS in London), which meant everything had a slightly different texture. They played "Father", "Barcelona" and the title track off Elephant Lands, the rest of the set was all new stuff, which I'm growing to love ever more. No "Moonlit Sky"... all those wonderful older songs are getting displaced from the setlist — one day they'll have a large repertoire of great stuff to return to and mix things up a bit, but right now it's all about the third album they're currently working on with Joel (from Syd Arthur) up at Wicker Studios in Southeast London. Barney from Zoo For You is getting involved in this project too (at an editing level) — nice to see this network of cultural cooperation expanding further.

I had a quick chat with guitarist Dave as I left the building. He wasn't convinced (he never is — in fact he laughingly admitted that there's only one Cocos gig he thought was any good!!). But I (being much more easily pleased) was.


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