22/12/2010 | Cocos Lovers – The Magpies Nest: Old Queens Head, Islington

Lisa Ward

When the audience are demanded to their feet for the headline act, you know you’re in for a foot tapping stampede of songs, and this is just what Cocos Lovers deliver. A rousing set of up tempo bluegrass folk, that is immensely reminiscent of the likes of Stornoway merged with Noah and The Whale. The duel girl/boy harmonies, laced over a plethora of instruments culminate into a set that has the front of the crowd engulfed in a sea of dancing.

Whilst Time To Stand is a heartfelt number driven by acoustic melodies, O Rosa O Rosa has a more country vibe complimented by the heavier weighting of female vocals. Nevertheless,  despite their evident musical abilities I can’t deny drifting off halfway through the set. Like many other well known folk bands I love, Cocos Lovers take some work. This is never going to be the kind of genre that means you’re immediately grabbed from start to finish and the subtle variations in their songs washed over me in a bit of a blur.

Most disappointing is the lack of movement from the band, whether due to a lack of space, or a lack of awareness, the gulf between them and the audience created a mammoth juxtaposition which left me pondering if they were just as confused as I. On one hand they create intricate and interesting harmonies which long to entice you in, but the band simultaneously seem to turn you away with their lack of variation and unexciting stage demeanour.

What they did do however, was grab my interest long enough for me to realise they’re a band worth investigating and given by the enamoured reaction of the crowd, once Cocos Lovers have captured your attention long enough to get your interest, they likely just to grow and grow. True enough recorded they seem to counterbalance all my complaints live, and though I might not have been hooked on the night, I most certainly am in hindsight.

www.cocoslovers.co.uk