Westward Ho – Show 017
Very laid back, another amazingly professional band (we keep on commenting how lucky we are with the acts that we have on the show), Westward Ho got set up in no time and just went straight into their set.
With acoustic guitars, drums, bass, ukulele, mandolin and flute and with up to three vocals, the sound in the room was very full but detail was obvious. This was going to be a fun evening.
Now who the hell writes a song about Sizewell? Err… someone called Ben Corbett. Starting their set with Sizewell Lament makes you realise that although you’re in for a folk kind of evening, Westward Ho don’t quite fit in that box, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, enough about the crew’s utter surprise at the subject matter of Westward Ho’s first song. The track starts off with a haunting mandolin and with Ben delivering some equally haunting vocals before smoothly ramping up into a beautiful swinging rhythm held together by the drums. The melody morphs from the vocals into Cate’s flute which fits perfectly and as the song progresses, one feels that the vocals, now with harmonies and the flute seem to dance around each other.
Hear Them Sigh carries on that swinging thing that Westward Ho has but the tempo and energy has stepped up a notch… or two.
We all just loved Jay’s story of the inspiration behind Wayting Hill about the myth of a buried iron-age warrior and once again, you can’t help admire the way these guys seem to find inspiration in things that many would not even notice. Some nice lead on acoustic guitar going on here.
By the time we get to Botany Bay, one realises that the drums are definitely not standing still.
What I mean by that, is that instead of playing a straight 4/4 beat all of the time, the drums do something different on every song and apart from keeping a solid rhythm, are as interesting and colourful as the instruments out front.
Fool Moon has a pop feel to it. Still maintaining that swinging Westward Ho signature thing, the lyrics and the melody make the song sound like something that could easily be on the radio while driving to work in the morning!
The subject matter behind Hakishakusama is another example of unique inspiration as is Westward Ho’s last song, In Real Life I have Known You Longer. Be careful of what you say in conversation with these guys. They might write a song about it!
With a heavy rhythm, contemporary lyrics and a very danceable swing, In Real Life I have Known You Longer, like Fool Moon, also has a pop feel to it and crescendos in such a way so as to be a perfect last song to the band’s set.