Webmoms Conquered The Falmouth University Amata Stage During His Debut Performance, Leaving The Audience Lusting For More
“Spotify Wrapped? Or Bandcamp Friday? Are you picking up what I’m putting down?” asks indie singer-songwriter Robi Mitch of tonight’s growing audience at AMATA, Falmouth University’s gem of a music venue.
Beloved in Bristol and now a Truro dweller, the wryness of Mitch’s inter-track chatter marks his music in the same way, his funky yet profound brand of lo-fi indie pop permeating the cavernous space and getting hips swaying in swift fashion tonight.
‘Bike / Endless Summer’ is a delightfully meandering banger – hazy yet sharp – and is followed by ‘Brother’, a bold and rhythmic ballad. Along with a trio of talented band mates, Mitch lurches from slow-jam to stadium-filling indie with impeccable style.
“That was a bit self-indulgent”, he croons after one particularly energetic track, and it’s that infectious self-deprecation, along with the woozy existential thread running through his music, that subtly reminds me of Mac DeMarco – if he were British and had relocated to Cornwall.
Casually kaleidoscopic and charming to a tee, Mitch rounds up his support slot with ‘Golden Hour’, and I’m sure I’m not the only one quietly willing an encore.
Tonight’s headliner needs little introduction to those clued up on the Cornwall music scene. Webmoms, the moniker and current project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Karum Cooper, is by no means his first foray into music-making. In fact, following a very musical upbringing, Cooper has been lending his skills to different outfits for quite some years now; as guitarist for Hypophora and as bassist for singer-songwriter Daisy Clarke to name a few.
It is with this plethora of previous experience to his name that Cooper takes to the stage tonight, joined by an eight-strong band bringing a euphony of synths, percussion, brass, woodwind, and strings to the table.
Between disarming exchanges with the audience, sprawling passages of jazz-infused indie tumble into soulful spoken word stints with a breezy elegance. It’s an experimental sound that manages to keep a slickness and shape to it – quite a feat, I reckon.
There is such a warmth and communality to Cooper’s approach – all the musicians on this stage tonight look like they’re having a ball, fusing passages of improv with cool, accomplished performing. On several of the numbers, we are graced by Esme Thwaite, one half of folk duo Selke, and a striking solo singer in her own right. There’s one particular moment where Thwaite and Cooper unveil an as-yet-untitled track, while the other musicians in the roster sit cross-legged on stage. It is a sincere, soulful treat.
Tonight is one of those gigs that could well cascade into the early hours, as everyone in the room is euphoric. The more Webmoms play, the more funky and flamboyant things become, from the keyboard player giving it some virtuoso welly, to stand out solos from the percussion players, and Cooper himself showing off his ability to make that six-string sing.
There’s no way Webmoms are getting away without an encore tonight, and the crowd are treated to one final burst of sprawling psychedelic R&B. I leave with two resounding thoughts; firstly, Webmoms is an exciting and insatiable creative force, and one I can’t wait to see live again. Secondly, Jools Holland should definitely be taking note.