By Sam Lawson & Kieran Webber
I talk about myself in my articles a lot, so let’s get that out of the way first shall we? Cool. First and foremost, neither of my band’s have played in Cornwall in the last 18 months or more, we sort of wrote it off as a waste of our time and money. Driving to London might take a while but we can play to really great crowds of enthusiastic and full audiences whereas Cornwall just seemed like we were playing to whatever mates of ours we had left that hadn’t flew the nest to go to university elsewhere. We play for more of our school/college friends around the rest of this country than we do in our home county. So when I started at Falmouth University this past September and I realised the depth of the talent pool that I was precariously being lowered into, I was quite pleasantly surprised to see that whilst Cornwall generally is a total deadzone, Falmouth is alive and fucking kicking.
So who’s on the list? Who are the bands to go and see and tell your friends about? I’m sure we’re going to miss a couple but generally, we’re going to do what we can to make sure we don’t. These bands are almost all made up of Falmouth University students. Truro College is a truly beautiful and amazing place for young bands also, I should add, however as an institution it definitely gets a decent amount of press from our contemporaries over at the West Briton, so let’s shine a light on the gritty underworld of Cornish live music.
I should add; my own band Knave and a band that are very dear to my heart (because I manage them now), Cpt. Prang are included in this article. Both of which are at the discretion of Kieran Webber, editor-in-chief for Clunk Magazine and all the content in this article besides the parts pertaining to those two groups (to avoid biased, of course) are by me, whereas they are by him. On we go!
Sunbruise are a psychedelic, trippy, acid washed push of dirt through the veins of the listener. Their self-titled EP was released this month on the 20th and is available on Spotify and other digital outlets. Fronted by Rachel Anstis, who’s voice delicately yet unnervingly glides along the top of these vastly interesting compositions. Also, it’s worth noting that drummer Zach O’Loughlin plays in a few Falmouth based bands and is definitely someone to watch out for. If he doesn’t go places, no one will. Check Sunbruise out at MONO, Falmouth, November 16th alongside Hypophora, Knave and Oh!.
I saw Ronnie and his band perform for the first time yesterday afternoon on campus at one of the lunchtime concerts that the AMATA building host each week on a friday. Totally different to the other bands in the list, but in an inordinately beautiful and compelling way. Zach from Sunbruise takes up the kit again in this group and to wonderful effect. Ronnie’s vocals stop you in your tracks and for me at very least, conjure up thoughts of singers like Jacob Collier and Gil Scott Heron. With a keen ear for melody and the ability to keep everything as slick as an oil spill, these guys are bound to see great success off of the back of their first studio release, whenever that may be!
Whilst it’s no longer much of a secret that after mid November, TinnedFruit will no longer be active in the scene due to Dan Ledley’s travels and other commitments, their impact on Falmouth music and Cornwall on the whole is undeniable. I don’t care what the old and jaded members of the “Cornish rock scene” say, it was TinnedFruit that made it cool to play garage and punk rock again in this county. Highly respected, highly energetic, highly talented. If you never caught a TinnedFruit show, you genuinely missed out.
Another lunchtime concert find for me. I think most people generally have the same reaction that I did when they see someone come on stage with a harp, it’s almost always “oh wow look at that it’s a harp”. That level of intrigue is enough to keep you encapsulated for long enough to witness the sheer beauty and power of Floralyn’s voice. Catchy and infectious melodies delivered with a strong, fierce and evidently soul-bearing cadence. The combination of the vocals combined with the contemporary backdrop provided by her live band and then the cake-icing that is her incredible harp playing capabilities, makes for a truly memorable show.
A band with a fixation and loving admiration for the absurd and by their own admission, hyper-realistic poetry as well as post punk and avant garde. These 4 nice boys, headed up by the wonderful and bizarre mind of lead singer and guitarist Theo Dorian, are sure to land some punches on the scene. Their debut show on Friday the 13th at Jacob’s Ladder cemented their place in the Falmouth circuit during what was a truly memorable performance of brightly colourful and totally insane barrages of sonic sunshine. As previously mentioned, Oh will be performing at MONO on the 16th of November.
Bobby Funk were recently featured in Clunk Magazine after Jim Taylor published his book “Kernow Punks – A Series Documenting The Cornish Punk Scene” . One of Autonomonster’s frontline acts (the DIY label ran by Alex and Olly from Bobby Funk/Tinned Fruit), Bobby Funk’s reputation in Falmouth is one of the utmost respect from other bands in the circuit. Shannon Green (drums) has had a dramatic impact on Cornish music generally speaking due to her involvement with bands such as Monolithian as well as these noisy boys. The band are known also for occasionally throwing boat parties and putting a bunch of punk rock groups on the bill to play on the open sea, which I think is one of the coolest thing in the fucking world.
Less of a band, more of a solo artist, Marius is someone I was immediately drawn to upon meeting him for his uncontainable passion for music and his general enthusiasm. I immediately hired him for The Yu-Yi Band (formerly For The Oracle) as our saxophonist due to his incredible musical idiolect and palette of emotions which he paints his art with, so to speak. His solo music, often involving his looper pedals alongside the sax, guitar and soft and sorrowful vocal style that he delivers with honesty and conviction, makes for some truly interesting arrangements. This guy is someone to keep an eye on, I assure you!
Knave are relatively new on the scene and are already starting to cause a rumble among local and national music fans. The band was formed off the back of For The Oracle, Hypophora and WHATSPOWER and carry a sound similar to the likes of Brand New and Basement Citizen. Knowing most of the band personally and judging by the previous projects they were involved in Knave should be a tirade of emo/punk rock that is intricate in practise and explosive in sound. Although a new band they are already playing a string of shows around the UK, you can catch them at Prince Alberts, Brighton on the 25th October, Plymouth Underground on the 29th October supporting SLAVES (US) as well as a string of shows in November including the aforementioned show at MONO, Falmouth on the 16th.
Cpt. Prang formed at Falmouth University and consists of Chris Taylor, Callum Sanchez, Charlie Horne and Jack Gilbody. They have an interesting combination of punk/grunge and spoken word hip hop vocals with Black Flag and Black Sabbath inspired riffing. Unfortunately the band have no recorded music but word of mouth has allowed for this band to fill local venues with ease. The band have an EP on the way that is to be mixed by Withers of TinnedFruit. The band will also be shooting their new music video November the 4th at Jacobs Ladder, so be sure to head down there to get a dose of good music and to be featured!