Some people say all happens for a reason. I would rather say the beauty of life consists of all the unexpected we experience. And for a girl like me, a girl who is defined by music she loves, this means the little discoveries of sounds and tunes that come out of nowhere to become a kind of life’s soundtrack.
As I mentioned before, apart from outstanding Paristetris live performance, there was another band during MISIETUPODOBA festival in Tuczno that caught my ear. With amazingly talented young man from Manchester as a leader, Kev Fox Band quite unexpectedly stole the evening away. At least for me. This is British acoustic sound with male vocalist, so first name appearing in my mind was David Gray. But then again, where Gray goes very simple and his sadness is something more of a memory than real emotion, Fox takes on much more. Longing, loss, hopelessness and regret, all melting into the echoes of perfectly handled melodies. This sadness is greater, thicker, it tells beautiful stories and becomes impossible to abandon. And when you imagine all that in the middle of the night, under a sky filled up with stars the feeling gets almost unbearable. By the time I heard my personal favorite – Mind The Bright Lights – a better comparison came to my mind. There was once an off-label record by Ryan Adams called The Suicide Handbook. A simple and heartbreaking set of beautiful pieces, including Miss Sunflower Blue, Idiots Rule The World and For No One. Pure singer-songwriting stuff. This is exactly what Kev is doing with his songs, of course with a lot less of an alt-country taste. The Help Yourself EP, containing six tracks, reveals potential, songwriting skills and ability to create a unique, very intimate atmosphere. This is what could be called feels like home: been there, done that. When it comes to music itself, it’s still the beginning – but quite a breathtaking one. There are a few slight shortcomings that could easily be fixed. A piano in the background, to assist backing vocals of charming Charli Lamont could be a way to figure this out. Also, it feels like a bit of rawness would do here some good. The finishing live is amazing – in the studio versions songs way to quickly fade away leaving us craving for more. Apart from that, at least three out of six tracks are ready-to-go on a full length record. Help yourself, with its soft acoustic intro, evolving into a beautiful ballad built around echoing vocals, nostalgic Mind The Bright Lights plus interestingly harsh A Picture. It would not be fair forgetting about Talk Of The Town – this is the sound of a late Sunday morning, when time does not matter anymore and the only thing you are able to do is watch the frames of memories lazily flowing before your already tired eyes. If you add the influences listed on Kev’s myspace site, all sounds very promising. The further he goes, the better he might get.
Beside the undisputed musical value Kev and his band bring to the world, they are a bunch of really open, friendly and modest people. Have seen them live three times, every time perfectly prepared which only proves their respect for the audience.
I believe in pop music – pop understood as Nick Hornby describes it: popular music. To embrace in a three-minute long piece demons of love, regret and disappointment is something not many people are capable of. With a start like that, Kev Fox is in far better position, than – let’s say – Jakob Dylan, who needed years of trying to escape his father’s ghost to finally create something really true to himself. And with Kev, there is truth here, there is honesty, sensitivity and whole lots of talent right from the start. A mixture hard to ignore. As it was not the first time Kev Fox Band visited Poland, let’s hope it’s not the last. Have your eyes (and ears) open wide. You don’t have to be a girl who considers music her boyfriend to appreciate such an opportunity.
PS. I am aware of the poor quality of the picture. Forgot my camera, so this cell photo is as good as it gets. This time.