Bands from the West Country that you won’t know but you should!
In and amongst the crevasses of the UK there are pockets of talent that aren’t showcased by mainstream media outlets, the real underground scene exists in these parts of the land. Falmouth town is one of these places that seems to harbour some fine musician’s unknown to the city folk. Using word of mouth as their medium locals and students alike find an affinity with many of the talented creators of the coastal location and there’s not a pub insight that you won’t be able to find music to wet your ears with. Underground had the pleasure of exploring the mystical Cornish spot to find the best musical catches. So, put one shell to your ear and a headphone in the other, and transport yourself to a pub on the seashore with the great sounds of these hidden gems…
Explicit by name and by nature, this foursome makes songs that are as dirty as their minds are. They take poetry in one hand and punk practice in the other and clap: splattering your ears with broken spoken word over the top of rhythms you’d expect from the likes of Girl Band, Idles, or even classic Iggy and The Stooges. With allusions to biblical tales alongside socio-economic grievances, and drinking Buckfast on the train, Cpt. Prang create a collection of allegories with abrasive drums and heavy guitars that encourage rebellion. And with the mantra “revolt, revolt, revolt” it comes as no surprise that they create pandemonium at live shows and fight yuppy materialism with their recorded lyricism. 2018 saw these rebel boys put on a plethora of live gigs down South, a UK tour and release their debut E.P. Prangin’ Out, Vol. 1 (which is available on most audio medias) with Autonomonster Records. Their success is only but a nod to their mastery in the art of sailing intoxicating waves and a sweaty crowd. Despite not adding any sea shanties to their song list, how I see it is you have a choice to join these captains in all their debauchery or walk the plank into monotony.
Josh Collins instagram.com/Joshubox,
Forget the fruit-bowl and head towards the can isle, where you can find this garage-band trio who, despite their name, cannot be contained. Creating their sound with the bare necessity of an indie-rock set up (drums, vocals, guitar and bass) this Southern based threesome manages to make tracks that will no doubt get you moving like the Smashing Pumpkins crowd in that Simpsons episode ‘Homerpalooza’ (for reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cELOaM-wRUY). Sitting somewhere between grunge and a nuance heavy metal, Tinnedfruit take both genres for a fast-paced spin inside an indie blender. The outcome: surf pop motifs merged with chunks of traditional garage rock devices, imagine Ty Sygall got smashed in one of the many pubs Falmouth had to offer and decided that a song by Alice in Chains was his karaoke number, yeah that. They mess around with themes of youthful rebellion, chopping and changing between wispy vocals to voice breaking yells that match the sharp contrast between the occasional shoegaze rhythm and upbeat riffs of a more punk aesthetic. Having already got three albums under their belt, this band seemingly don’t have a nearby expiry date and should still be considered as one of your five-a-day.
Craig Taylor-Broad https://www.instagram.com/craigtaylorbroad/
In contrast to the guitar saturated numbers, Hockeysmith immerse your ears with alluring vocals and heavy bass lines that transport you to a time of illegal raves, trip-hop anthems and hardcore strobes. Kicking off their musical career in 2014 with the release of their four tracks E.P. But Blood(a piece of avant-garde electronica mastery) and performing numerous gigs around Falmouth town, the, then, sisteract created a stir with their ability to defy convention and push the boundaries of what you can do with a genre that’s been practically milked-dry by raving predecessors. However, after sisters Annie and Georgie dropped this first taster, they left listeners practically starving for more after they decided to take a two-year hiatus from the music scene. Now back onto the music scene, Annie has taken Hockeysmith on as a solo project to galvanize Cornwall’s early-rave scene heritage and drive it into the 21stcentury. Exploring dreamy realms of sound loops and synths Annie draws you into a pool of glistering IDM goodness. Her newest release ‘Tears at My Age’ in every way captures her experiments with the boundaries of armchair techno tropes, ambient guitars and non-sensical lyricism that Hockeysmith stands to represent. With complex layers of sound Hockeysmith has created a plethora of hypnotic tracks that deals with wasted tears over loser boys and dreaming of past lovers delicately intertwined with 80s-esk electro beats and shoegazey motifs. Taking inspiration of the Cocteau Twins as well as finding refuge in the techno-pop arms of Aphex Twin (who is a Hockeysmith fan no less) listeners are offered a fat slice of reverb goodness that’s hard not to take a bite from.
Using just her voice and a guitar her simplistic styling is beautifully bare, creating ethereal tracks that are both effortlessly elegant and admirably vulnerable in their nudity. Sounding like the love child of Keaton Henson and Lucy Rose, singer song writer Christina Smith strips her electric guitar and vocal range until they are practically naked in sound. Through her unembellished approach, FARE makes music that is both clam enough to lull you into a daze ecstasy while also keeping you lucid with enticingly haunting lyricism about love, lost and the mind junk in-between. It’s hard not to listen to tracks like ‘Starver’ or ‘Today’, both taken from her E.P. Overgrown, at full volume to fully indulge in her silky richness.
The end of 2018 has seemingly been momentous for FARE and saw her travelling to the Netherlands to support Ben Howard during his European tour. Now back in Cornwall, the fun doesn’t seem to stop for this spellbinding soloist. And with the sounds of distant seagulls intermingled through delicate guitar plucking, the listener merely must close their eyes and they are teleported edge of the country overlooking lapping waters and quaint streets all without having to travel 8 hours to experience it. She perfectly encapsulates that beach hipster chic that comes with a certain strand of indie folk, and if you’re lucky enough to find you self in the coastal town of Falmouth (where everyone has a twinge of this aesthetic) you might even bump into FARE herself in the local watering hole – Hand Bar.
Em Marco Covecchio https://www.instagram.com/emilymarcovecchio/ .
Moving as far as possible to the other end of the spectrum of music comes Bobby Funk: a four piece who have fists full of piss-taking social commentating lyricism. With two E.P.s to their name and notoriety amongst the underground punk scenes up and down the country, it comes as no surprise these rebel rejects are the catalyst for several ruckuses in the quiet coastal town. Sounding as if they’ve just stepped out of 1977, these frustrated bunch o’ punks are a bag full of riotous fun that’s hard not to jump around to. And with tunes like ‘Johnny Wanker’, ‘Stathams of the Crass’, and ‘Panic in the Paddock’ (to name a few) their sardonic reflection of popular culture is an unmissable characteristic of Bobby Funk’s punk spirit. In both of their recorded albums and live performances the band play around with fast paced abrasive sounds that you’d expect to ricochet off your ears from a track by The Damned or Crass with a sprinkling of ska-esk teasing rhythms and some Avant-funk undertones that are more aligned to bands such as the Talking Heads or early Slits recordings. Despite a menagerie of likeness to a range of musical influencers, at the core of this foursome is a punk pillar that each member dances round like a maypole, embracing breakneck tempos and rasping vocals to the utmost degree. Their newest release Avocado Stainsembodies this completely and sees the band taking on punk archetypes from the satirical rejection of middle-class brunch culture to in-your-face references to taboos such as the indulgence in narcotics and being fucked by Jason Statham. In short Bobby Funk are carelessly unrestrained and don’t seem to care if you like them or not – because either way you’re probably some “something, something wanker…” as everyone is.
Some honourable mentions and unmissable destinations:
The Fish factory, for those looking support local art, or to catch fresh out of the water bands – this venue will be sure to have you hook, line and sinker. Jacob’s Ladder, located at the top of every asthmatic’s worst nightmare (a 111-step climb), this pub is as charming as it is noisy. It lures you in with the offer of a pint and a sleep in an inn if you need and chirps you into staying for another drink with a selection of local musicians who regularly consume the front bar area. Chintz,a place certainly for the strange and in celebration of the uncanny this bar is not only located at the heart of every art-students hang out destination wet-dream but is full of playful paraphernalia and cheap carafes. It’s also another spot where you can stumble upon live music – although it can get quite tight so make sure you’re wearing deodorant. Hand Bar conveniently located underneath Chintz this front room sized micro-pub is seemingly the only place that you’d want to be after the clock strikes 12. Although it’s not a music venue, the walls are smothered in local art and there’s tales of a mean pub quiz with some intoxicating prizes.
Musician wise the choices seem to be endless, despite common (perhaps, some might say, pretentious) beliefs in humble towns live some incredible artists. Here are some more notable names from Falmouth who your ears should have the pleasure of being doused in: Hattie Cattel,Holiday Ghosts, Milo Gore, Sunbruise, Angel Baby, Meat Party, Mister Charming Alarming Professor Alfred Hitchcock.
Report by Aimee Williams-Maynard