NEWS: Ponyland @ Think Tank? | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Fresh from the release of their debut album, Mora Mora, last month, Newcastle septet Ponyland perform at Think Tank? on Sunday 28th April. The Afrobeat-meets-jazz-meets-punk-meets-absolutely bonkers group create an astonishing mash-up of sounds, complete with chaotic rhythms, unhinged vocals and hypnotic vibes.

Comprised of some of the region’s most respected jazz musicians – John Pope (bass), Faye McCalman (saxophone), Frankie O’Keeffe (vocals), Jordie Cooke (guitar), Geoff Bartholomew (trumpet) and Adam Stapleford and Dave McKeague (both drums) – it’s perhaps a given that the group demonstrate such musical prowess, but Ponyland’s sheer musical vision is quite something to behold.

Given that guitarist and primary songwriter Jordie kicks off the songwriting process with percussion, it’s no surprise that tribal drum rhythms dominate their sound. Moss Will Cover Everything is a delightful swirling maelstrom of squelching effects, clashing guitar and Frankie’s increasingly deranged repeated refrain of “that’s what happens when you’re living in the belly of the beast / and it’s hungry, and it’s hungry”; the soulful groove of Crumblesilkskin gives in to clashing percussion and scuzzy guitars; while in the hypnotic Mystic, East meets West amid brassy melodies and disturbed rhythms.

Jordie explains that the band “sonically aims to be the lovechild of Sun Ra and Lightning Bolt”, and the comparisons are pretty accurate; expect a ritualistic live show replete with animalistic behaviour and riotous sounds.

 

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