Follow Me Under The Hill
Follow Me Follow You organised a series of shows for the release of their Creature EP called Under The Hill and Over The Hill. The band had gone through great extents to make the launch of the EP interesting, treating fans to a treasure hunt. The Under The Hill series of the performances see the band performing secret invite-only shows where fans must follow clues to figure out where the performances take place and what bands will be supporting. My interest was piqued as a music fanatic but my day-to-day responsibilities meant that I did not have the time, energy and mental capacity the riddle required:
“And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch for the touch of the vanish’d hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!”
Eventually, all was revealed and the launch would take place at a private home in Fourways with support from Greedy Greg and Savage Lucy on a sweltering Sunday afternoon. The expansive garden was the perfect environment, united with the thematic connotations of Creature and Under The Hill. A covered patio would play the part of the performance stage leading out to a veranda divided by a pool from which the majority of those attend would observe. We were afforded the opportunity to bring our own refreshments and snacks, but Good To Go Eatery was at hand with fresh margherita cocktail jars and appetizing organic burgers.
Greedy Greg start the proceedings. This would be the first time I heard of and from them. They filled the air with instrumental blues-rock and won a new fan in me. Unable to listen with the freedom of someone who was familiar with their music, the experience was sweetened when the band played a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”. My close association to the song far outweighed any flaws in Michael Plaxton-Harrison’s vocal rendition of the classic. Greedy Greg, an instrumental band directed the nature of the event to allow them to play about by inviting friends to join them on stage. The performance peaked when the band was joined on stage by Jessica Freedom and Michael Marshall who gave the blues the anguished voice it deserved. The two harmonized melodies I couldn’t quite decipher the message of, but in that moment I understood and I was very much behind their cause.
Next on stage was the reason we had all gathered; Follow Me Follow You. I was mostly unfamiliar with the term math rock before I discovered Follow Me Follow You, but the description suited the rhythmically complex and fractioned guitar based music. I struggled to move my body in a consistent rhythm with the music with all the asymmetrical time signatures and unpredictable progression; but that didn’t make the experience any less pleasurable. I caught the grooves occasionally and when I was out of sync, I was absorbed in trying to fathom the intricacies of the melodies. The band was joined on stage by Dave Abbott who had a great hand in the realisation of the Creature EP and Jade Abbott’s interest in music being her father. Dave joined the band for a spirited performance of “Combination Loch” playing the electric violin and displaying his knowledge and passion for music.
Savage Lucy would close proceedings. I could not stay longer than their first track but fortunately I attended their gig at the David Baille gallery the previous evening. It was Austen’s sixth performance in a couple of days as the band was performing extensively in support of their recently released Reverie album. For Steven Bosman, it was a third performance in the space of a couple of hours as he was the glue that connected each of the acts being the drummer in all of them. The day would also play as a farewell to Steven, who will be moving to America to pursue further a career in music. The talent he displayed in the ease and precision with which he was able to traverse different genres on the day assures me that success once he moves will be close by.
Overall the day was an experience I’m proud to have taken part in, as it is moments such as these which inspired me to start writing about music. My part in exploring, examining and exhibiting local music is made all the more satisfying with artists that conflict mass ideals both in the nature of their music and how that music is consumed.
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