Rebekka O’Grady reports back on an evening spent at The Kazimier chock-full of pleasant surprises…
On entering The Kazimier, a venue until now I had never set foot in, I was most pleasantly surprised. Expecting the typical, black non-descript décor with sticky floors, I was instead greeted by a carnivalesqe interior full of character which regulars, I’m sure, will already know and love.
I was there to watch Jethro Fox, a Liverpool-based artist making his live debut. I had decided not to listen to the music of Jethro Fox, (nor the two other bands featured in the line up: James Canty and The Loved Ones) prior to the gig as I wanted to listen with fresh ears. This gamble paid off, and I was happy to discover the delicate folk melodies of James Canty, futuristic sounds from The Loved Ones and the happy, sprightly repertoire of Jethro Fox.
Settled on the balcony of The Kazimier, anticipation was getting the better of me: either I was exceptionally punctual, or I didn’t get the memo that to be cool in The Kazimier, arriving fashionably late is still the done thing. Eventually, the crowd started to fill out, the night looked set to begin. Up first was London-based James Canty, a folk musician on the rise. Joined on stage by a 3-piece band of violin, piano and double bass, Canty himself swapped between a mandolin and banjo. Tonight was the first show in his UK tour, and the performance offered up much for future audiences to look forward to. Bearing no little aural resemblance to the likes of Fleet Foxes and Woody Guthrie, Canty is no one-trick pony; his forthcoming single, Shark in the Shadows, departs from traditional folk, offering up a much edgier sound. Somebody Shoot returns to Fleet Foxes-style melody, and Canty finished his set with the buoyant Strange Times, a definite toe-tapper.
After a short interlude, the GIT Award short-listed Loved Ones took to the stage. I barely realised the background music of the interval had stopped and they had begun, such was the quality and confidence of their music. But normally a four-piece, only two could make it tonight. I was quite disappointed not to hear the full force of the Loved Ones, such is the buzz surrounding them. I felt I had missed out just hearing it acoustically. They still had the futuristic folk aspect about them, and it would be churlish to suggest they hadn’t entertained, but something was missing. Probably the other two members of the band.
Finally, the artist the audience had all been waiting for took to the stage. Jethro Fox has a four-piece backing band consisting of a bass, electric and acoustic guitar, drums and keyboard. Fox himself plays the guitar whilst singing animatedly positive pop. The audience are captivated by him, swaying along to the catchy chorus and guitar riffs that accompany each track. Echo, one of the standout tracks has a much harder guitar riff, complimented by Fox’s soft vocals. The lyrics are quick to pick up, and you could easily see yourself singing along to it at home. Considering it was his debut gig, Fox could not help but be pleased with the turn out, an encouraging sign of more successful gigs to come for this most promising artist.
Jethro Fox supports Weird Dreams Wednesday 2nd May @ Parr Street Studio 2