Rudy Warman and Syd Arthur at The Bar Below, Folkestone 26/10/2012
Warm ups, I know what you’re thinking. School day flashbacks involving stretches and threats that if you pick any more grass you’ll have to cut the field with scissors. Luckily Syd Arthur have a very different idea of a warm up. Alongside Folkestone’s own Rudy Warman the Canterbury based psycadelic band played The Bar Below, Folkestone as a warm up show to their imminent tour.
Rudy took to the stage first. Sharing the stage with a drummer and a cajon player he treated the mixed audience to an entertaining and lively set.
Opening with a classic the folk/bluegrass singer caught the attention of the mixed audience immediately. The set was made by crisp drumming and the warm beats of the cajon and lively guitar, Rudy’s vocals sounding feisty. For all the energy however the set did take it down occasionally, tracks like
Oceans showing a softer side to Rudy’s sound. Songs like Gazele and Let’s Build a House also went down very well. There was enough energy and funk in the blue grass tones however that as the set wound on more of the crowd began dancing. Whether it was a shake of the hips or the whole slow dance shebang the crowd was moving. The love from the audience was flowing throughout from a few hard core vocal fans through to the demand for an encore.
It was then time for Syd Arthur to release their songs on the audience. Un-assuming from the start the band began to play with no big announcements or demands. Even without these the audience gravitated back towards the stage as the band found their sound. As Syd Arthur played tracks from On and On they proved how well they translate live, holding a new magic in a live environment. The band embodied their music, all getting lost in the vibes, exemplified by the drummer who looked to be lost in a trance. Songs like Ode to the Summer and Edge of the Earth sounded especially good live. Even the 10 minute epic Paradise Lost got a play. This was one highlight of the night. Another was when an older track Pulse got played. Sounding great in its own right its end turned into small jam, highlighting further how much the band enjoy their music. If the band got lost in the music then this effect was even greater for the audience, each member slipping under its spell as it entwined with the air. Bringing the set to a triumphant end Syd Arthur played a new track, What Is Sacred, which shows many more good things are yet to come.
This was one of those gigs that leaves you feeling strangely peaceful inside as the sings still bounce around your head. If you can catch them on their tour you must. Closer to home though, Rudy Warman is another act not to be missed. A good night brought to Folkestone by The Nine Crows!