The latest in the evenings presented by the dedicated and tireless Pedz, this time Stacked at Open brought along the fascinating and much anticipated Gagadilo to the city.
Having watched and listened to them on YouTube I was very keen to see the French band Gagadilo live, as their brand of horn-led, bass driven energetic ska-jazz sounds so infectious. As soon as I entered the venue I saw Pedz, who mentioned he had the whole band staying over at his house that night. One can only imagine how that part of the evening went! Upon learning of these guests I can guess his house-mate’s reaction and question of “What sort of stuff do they play?” and Pedz replying “Ska, dub, reggae, Balkan”!!!
First on the bill though was another band new to me, a Norwich collective called Someday Soon. I can’t say all of their songs totally grabbed me on this occasion, but I did really like the voice and playing style of their lead guitarist. The final song of their set I did really appreciate though, a blasting song in the style of The Waterboys which closed the set with great gusto.
The next band was a three-piece from the Netherlands, called Labasheeda, who performed a totally different style of music. Led my Saskia van der Giesson on vocals, guitar and violin, and complemented by another guitarist and a drummer (but no bassist) they belted out a powerful set of indie-grunge rock, at times I was detecting the influences of PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth and even during one song a riff not a million miles away from that of True Confessions by the Undertones. All fine influences as far as I am concerned and I totally approve. The venue felt about half full by this stage – not at all bad for a midweek gig – and the band appeared to be enjoying themselves, asking if they had time for one final number. Pedz appeared to be indicating that they had not but an enthusiastic voice in the crowd shouted Yes! and this is the voice they chose to hear. Interesting band whose work I will investigate, some of the songs appeared to have no choruses but they were always good to listen to and gave a healthy dose of energy and noise.
Local beach-pop fun act and Norwich regulars Dumbfoundus were next, and this happy band seemed to have a good and healthy following in the audience. Tom who I saw a few days ago with Feral Mouth was today here again on bass as Dumbfoundus did a set that seemed to pass too quickly, of covers and a few self-penned numbers. I particularly enjoyed the requested tea song, but the had a wide variety of covers including songs by Sting, Nirvana and a number from the Jungle Book!
The night’s headliners Gagadilo were next on, and fulfilled all my hopes and expectations. The horn section was superb and the bass was deep and excellent, I was really impressed, and so were all in the audience. For some reason the front at the stage seemed to be building up a mountain of shoes as the audience were choosing to skank barefoot, and it was almost as much fun watching the crowd enjoying themselves as it was this fine band on stage.
I am so glad I did not miss this one, the CD which I bought afterwards is playing in the background as I write, and is equally great listening. Almost entirely intrumental, largely ska more than Balkan I would say but with hints of Ethio jazz-funk and even some latin, and occasionally Gallic. These guys would go down a storm on the summer festival circuit and I would love to see them again. It would take a cold and cynical person not to enjoy this live experience, and thankfully there were none of those present tonight, everyone was saying how great they were and what fun they had.
Thanks again to Pedz for another fascinating and fun evening and for introducing me to yet more great acts.
Words and photos (c) by shashamane