29 September 2012
At about nine o’clock Cocophone took to the stage to launch their new album Reservoir. This was after support act Elaine Mai’s unusual blend of drum machine, overlapping computer recorded vocals, and live music all mashed together by one tiny stage figure had caught the attention of a growing audience. Mai even performed a perfect cover of Frank Ocean’s Thinking About You, along with songs from her new EP Dots.
The headlining band had announced on Facebook that the Cocobus was on it’s way to their “biggest ever gig” earlier that day, and they were incredibly excited to be on stage. They kicked the gig off with A Borrowed Walk; a number which starts off softly and slowly builds to a lone acoustic guitar treated by delicate vocals, and then into a frenzy of violin.
They moved quickly into one of their oldest and finest songs Hollow Tree, which had been altered since Cocophone, originally consisting of Freya Monk and Finn Divilly added three members to the line up. As a formerly beautiful acoustic number, one would worry that any change to this gem is bad. But it was quite the opposite, as the very slight drum and keyboard modifications improved the atmosphere and a gentle electric guitar treated Freya’s vocals wonderfully.
New songs debuted from Reservoir were excellent, songs like Selling Bodies; with a melancholic show-tune vibe from the keyboard as Finn held the mic in hand. Freya’s voice featured like an instrument on this song before interrupting once again with a tragic violin sound; and Sunburnt, an inspiring and powerful song in which the two vocalists led the audience into a slow musical mayhem. So too were the covers of Postcards from Italy by Beirut and Midas Touch by Boards of Canada along with little bit of Prince while Finn tuned his guitar.
The highlight however was hearing some of the older songs modified, particularly the sequel to their EP’s Special Offers, called Special Offers II. Similarly the change in the song Glory Shoes was striking as its fast paced drumming and guitar distortion make it an entirely different beast. Glory Shoes does not currently feature on the album but there’s a chance it may be re-recorded.
As the Cocobus approached the stop, finishing with their new single Rivers, there was a well deserved sense of accomplishment and praise surrounding Cocophone. Clearly this is a brief stop on what will hopefully be a long and successful journey for the alternative folk rockers.