On The Road With – Folé

3 04 2012

DRIVING (AND GETTING LOST) ON THE WAY TO DUNFERMLINE WITH FOLÉ

LOOK WHO’S BACK!!!! Yes, after my lovely holiday to New York City and my fortnight hiatus from this blog I am back and doing a one-off segment which presented itself to me whilst I was jotting down ideas for my next bank of features. And in all honesty, it was my favourite feature that I have done so far as it allowed me to travel and spend a day with, not only my good friends James, Michael and Angus, but a band I really enjoy listening and watching perform. Michael, cajon drummer for Folé, got in touch with me about them needing driven to and from Dunfermline for their upcoming gig in The Jam Jar (which I must admit, is a lovely venue) and I jumped at the chance. It gave me a chance to cover this band but it was also the boot up the arse I needed to get this blog up and running again after my self-imposed break. So. Onto the review of the gig. Also, I must add, there will be no interview questions for this feature mainly due to the fact that I spent the whole day with the band and this feature is more aimed at the travel aspects that bands face when playing a gig in a region not familiar, or anywhere near, to them.

The day started out with me picking the alternative folk act up in Glasgow City Centre and began the trek (and a trek it was) to Dunfermline, a place I had been to once for a Partick Thistle game, and I honestly am so thankful that the iPhone had been invented. We had three going at the once after I spectacularly missed the turn off for Dunfermline and ended up halfway to Perth. Smooth moves Johnboy. But after a bit of a roundabout trek, and Folé having to put up with my bizarre taste in music ranging from Sigúr Ros to Animals As Leaders, we arrived in Dunfermline and found The Jam Jar. I could kind of tell that this venue would suit Folé’s brand of music perfectly. It is a very intimate and relaxed venue which allowed the performers to really connect to their audience and this only helped Folé’s performance.

Now, due to the fact that I go to university with all three members of Folé (I should mention that there are now 4 but due to a foot injury the new female vocalist could not make it) I have been exposed to their music on a few previous occasions but every time I listen to them I always fully enjoy it. I am not the biggest fan of most folk acts that are popping up around the Central Scotland area of Scotland in general for that matter but there are various facets to Folé’s music that really endears me to them. Most significantly so is the way the songs are written. James seems to have a knack for great storytelling in his songs which really allows the listening audience to connect with his music, something which is really missing in most music today, and it shows you how much thought James puts into his music rather than simply scribbling down words onto a page that will hopefully sound half decent when put together. Furthermore, the band set up of Folé is one that really interests me as well. The inclusion of a Cajon drum (or BoxHing as me and bassist Angus christened it) rather than a full drum set is something that really gives a different direction to the bands sound. I’m of the opinion that the cajon adds to the overall sound of the band but is just loud enough that it accents the songs and vocals rather than drowning them out. Also, there’s just something about the cajon that I find amazing. It’s a cracking wee instrument.

After soundcheck and Angus changed into his “smart gear” Folé entered the fray just after half eight to a crowd who were listening intently, apart from the pains in the arse in corner who got an amazing slagging later in the night from the lead singer of headline act Blue Rose Code, as Folé launched into their first song of the night “Better Sights”. You can’t go wrong with a nice upbeat song to kick off your gig and the crowd reacted very well to Folé. I’m of the opinion that it really doesn’t matter how many people are in the venue, as long as you get a positive reaction from them then you are doing your job right. Stand out track of the night for me was “The Adventures of Finlay” a song James has written about his good friend Finlay who apparently just upsticks and travels where he fancies whenever he feels like it. To touch on a point I made earlier this song really does highlight how much thought and effort James puts into writing his lyrics. It does really show you how much he cares about the songs he is writing and for that he has my infinite respect as a songwriter. The gig went down a storm with Folé receiving praise from several patrons of the venue and much to their delight (especially Michael) they were on the receiving end of high praise from Ross Wilson, lead singer of Blue Rose Code, both in person and over Twitter after their set.

I would strongly advise that you check out Folé. If they can captivate the attention of a post-rock/prog metal freak like me then they must be doing something right. Their infectious folk tunes are something to behold and the songwriting on display is genuinely fantastic. I am grateful that I not only got to spend the day with my friends but also that I got to see them play their music to an entirely new audience and win over some new fans (and the promise of a return invite is always a promising sign).

– Talking a pile of mince with Folé on the drive to Dunfermline. I had planned this to be a serious interview but I think us simply talking to the camera and seeing the artist all calm and in their element is better :).

 

Well. I’m pretty glad that I’m back into the swing of things with this blog.

You can check out Folé at – http://www.facebook.com/FoleMusic

Their maiden EP is available at – http://folemusic.bandcamp.com/album/better-sights


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