Saturday, 14 April 2018

Carpe, The Kings are dead, long live the kings.

Last night my other half and I attended what was in some ways a very sad night at Yorkshire Taps. The night was called Carpe Noctem, the last gig by the local kings of the music scene Carpe. These guys had been playing together for almost a decade and decided that enough was enough and have now called it a day after entertaining crowds with their funk laden grooves and joyous attitudes. First time I ever became aware of them was during the Lancaster Music Festival in 2014, and I have to say I was rather smitten from the get go. I wasn't the only one. These guys released one monster of an album during their career, they were the very definition of a band that should have got bigger.

From a purely musical perspective these guys were one of the most original composite bands I have had the pleasure of listening to. The mix of funk, jazz, hip hop, blues and hard rock with big band sentimentalities was all played with such confidence and relish. It could be argued that Flash is the front and centre of the band but that would be doing injustice to the rest of them because they all play such significant roles.

For example I remember seeing Carpe playing with Frenchie, the guitarist and singer, and they had to replace him with three other people. Jon Moore on lead guitar, is, well... Wow, those guitar solos were really rather awesome and never out of place. Frenchie's subtle rhythm guitar playing can't be underestimated, underpinning a lot of the songs. Has to be added that Flash is an excellent rapper, but they also have three really rather excellent singers who all have different styles but complement each other almost perfectly. Dave, Grum and Rachel's rhythm underpinning everything.

The thing that will stand out most is that what these guys wanted first and foremost was to have a good time and to make sure that everyone else did as well. I am going to miss knowing that they will be playing a gig locally.

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