Audiogold and Gentlemen Duke – 14/01/2012 The Enterprise Camden
Once again, many thanks to Andy Carlin for the review, on this occasion here are his thoughts on Audiogold and Gentlemen Duke.
On arriving at The Enterprise there is little to set it apart from the multitude of other bars and pubs around Camden market. Once inside little changes, the DJ was good and the drinks not too expensive considering the area, a nice place to have a drink on a Saturday night but nothing amazing. There is also the problem of finding the room where gigs are held which is up a tiny little staircase hidden away in a corner.
The room itself is the epitome of the small Camden gig venue, essentially the function room of a pub that has a stage in the corner and covered over windows. These rooms are where you can find some of the best up and coming bands in London but the bohemian style generally comes at a price to sound quality, The Enterprise is no exception. Whilst not a major problem with the fast paced singalong Country Folk of Gentlemen Duke the highly developed and sophisticated sound of Audiogold did suffer.
I turned up late to the gig and so managed to entirely miss the first act of the night and wasn’t in the greatest mood when the second took to the stage. Fortunately when they finished around a half hour later that had completely changed. Gentlemen Duke, a self described country folk group from Kent, offer an alternative to the rock and slower paced folk that is dominating much of the London gig scene at the moment. Fast paced, pounding bass lines and incredible energy characterise the kind of sound that I wish I heard more. Embracing both the electric fiddle and double bass over the standard guitar you can’t help but want to jump up and down. The obvious comparisons of Mumford and Sons, Johnny Flynn and so on come to mind but these guys are far from just jumping on the nu-folk bandwagon.
Instead they are probably best described as a mixture of the folksy influences of Noah and the Whale and the raw energy and speed of Flogging Molly. Throughout the set they were joking around between themselves and the crowd keeping the packed room engaged despite its unusual makeup of everyone from metal fans to the hipsters who are found almost everywhere in Camden.
With the rarely seen electric violin solo’s getting everyone jumping to the point that the floor was bouncing an alarming amount you won’t find many bands around who put more into their act than these guys. Though most of their songs are fast they are far from a one tricky pony with interesting and engaging lyrics combining with Sam Cockertons’ almost insatiable energy on the violin. At no other point in the night was the room anywhere near as full and the guys also spent some time in the bar downstairs chatting with anyone who was interested which can only help build up their fanbase.
- With good fortune there is a video of one of the tracks at the gig Andy reviewed.
In-between Gentlemen Duke and Audiogold was Dirty Pendejo though I must admit I managed to miss almost their entire set though I did manage to get hold of their latest CD release. Entitled The Pendemo it is an interesting example of a style the band themselves call Dirty Funk Rock and may well appeal more to the heavier rock or metal minded listener though that is not to say they should be pigeonholed purely into this category.
Audiogold were the headliners for the night but such was the disorganisation at the venue that by the time they had come on many of the crowd had left and I even had to duck out before they had finished the last song so I could actually get home!
Those that did leave before the band had started missed out majorly, the skill level and writing prowess on display is something you virtually never see in these small venues. Though the set got off to a bit of a slow start for my liking it soon kicked up a few gears and those that had remained stayed rooted to the spot. Some sound problems caused minor delays and affected a few songs but far from ruined the performance. You don’t often get guys like this at small venues such as The Enterprise.
Though very well written and performed the lyrics were for me blown out of the water by the music itself. With a great mixture of lighter slower songs that would sound right at home on the radio through to heavier layered tracks and even a very good cover of Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd – Audiogold offer something for anyone who likes guitar based bands. The initial slower style reminded me of Elbow and the big sound is reminiscent of a small scale Arcade Fire though there are undoubtedly some folk influences in some of the songs.
Probably best described as Folk/Alt rock they are one of the best small bands you will get the chance to see with Jonny Wanders being probably the best guitarist I have seen since I started reviewing for the site a couple of years ago. And they even refunded my entrance money after the venue messed up!
- This video is from a performance by the band at New Cross Inn back in July 2011.
I’d recommend Gentlemen Duke to anyone who likes a bit of folksy rock or even just a fun gig; if they are near me again I’d definitely head down. They should do well as long as they don’t get lost in the swarm of Mumford wannabe’s who seem to be appearing at the moment. Audiogold are something a little different, I tend to go back and see the bands I review again anyway but this time I will definitely do it, very enjoyable this time around and apparently the sound at The Enterprise was rubbish so I can’t wait to hear them when it’s good!
- Audiogold have been firm favourites with the readers of the indie bands blog for some time, taking the number one spot on the New Year Ninety Chart.
Thanks for the review Andy and I would like to wish you all the best for your finals this year and here is hoping we can get a few more gigs sorted before you finish.
With good fortune I hope Andy will be able to contribute to the website after completing university. If you would be interested in writing reviews for the Indie Bands Blog, irrespective of you location in the world, please drop me a note.