This show was a double album launch show for the debut albums by both bands and I only agreed to go after making sure the person inviting me knew that I hated the self-titled debut album by The Mothers Earth Experiment that is currently sitting in my review pile. Still having been re-assured that they would be worth seeing and that headliners Goldray would certainly be worth a look I said yes.
So I got in early enough to see all of both sets and to look at The Mothers Earth Experiment look interesting as they have two drummers, well one of them plays percussion in the form of some cymbals and a couple of congas as well as 2 guitarist's bass and Nord Keyboards they start the set by fading into what became an slightly off key prog work out that suffered from the keyboards not being loud enough but was also really tight and well played.
With the keyboards sorted they then did a very Doors like shuffle that was pretty decent and then the singer started emoting like he was trying to be Ian Anderson but with both feet on the ground throughout the musical workout. Things then got more proggy than I like them to be yes the guitarists were doing some cool stuff but they didn't always gel with what the drums and keys were up to and I was starting to concentrate on exactly what the drums and keys were doing as they stood out as the keys went all Alan Price on us with the odd nod towards Jimmy Smith and Bo Hansson against the drummer giving us all his best Michael Shrieve style moves.
The Michael Shrieve style fusion prog then expanded and took us in the direction of Tame Impala but with a dose of Pink Floyd meandering thrown in that is saved by the brilliant keyboards that cut through nicely to keep us grooving along to it as the guitarist loses himself a bit.
Things then seem to take a turn for the Jethro Tull at their Proggiest but again with some really cool keyboards and spot on drumming that keep me interested. They then have a bit of a mellow interlude that's the sort of Pink Floydish type stuff that I always hated but it's done well enough if you like that sort of thing.
They then finish with the band's strongest song and the single from the album Cool Down Mama that is a good old blues stomp of a song with good sing along chorus that really sounds cool and goes down a treat and is a good way to end a set that is pretty well received by an audience that is more industry than fans.
Just before tonight's headliners Goldray came on about 10 rather well known Music bizz movers and shakers arrived so they could see Kenwyn House of Reef's new Psychedelic prog rock trio launch their debut album Rising and thanks to whoever put the setlist on setlist.fm.
Goldray made a cool entrance and they look great with Leah the singer in a long flowing Egyptian style red dress and headpiece and Kenwyn and the other blokes wearing cavalier style battledress tops giving them a very cool visual impact even before they started with Outloud a buzzing psychedelic song about the sun and well Leah was doing some cool almost fan dancing with the arms of her dress that kept most of us fixated for the entire set.
Diamond Road that wanted to emphasise the bands Voodoo style has a cool riff and Leah's vocals were somewhere between Sharon Van Adel and Kate Bush but without being at all woebegone. Soon enough Leah was singing about what her Love was Like as the guitars made us sure it was good and frazzled and would happen once we were nice and high.
Eyes sounded pretty cool and had more of the mime and dance moves that made Leah seem ever more the perfect cross between Sharon Van Adel and Kate Bush and with much of the impact Within Temptation had on my the first time I saw them but without going all operatic on us. That was followed by current single Rising that seems to nick a few parts from Sass Jordan's Pissing down and has a bit of that early 90's feel to it.
The Oranges song may have been inspired by Velvet Crush as it has that psych powerpop type edge to it and was pretty cool. Calling Your Name sort of passed me by a little bit being one of the less interesting songs of the set.
They then played Forest that isn't a Cure rip off but more psychedelic rock with a mere hint of the prog about it before they finished with the almost glam stomp of Soulchild which really needs a cool video with it as it will make a cool single that is easy to sing along to and get a room going that of course meant they left the stage on a high.
So if you really like modern Prog fusion go and see The Mothers Earth Experiment and if you like things a lot more Psychedelic and very visual go and see Goldray who on tonight's form should be playing festival's all over the place before long.