photo by: in2thelight
During a midweek visit to Bournemouth, we found three gems in one night. The first was the memorabilia draped hotel, Beacon Hotel. This large hotel took our breath away the moment we walked through the door. Every inch of wall space is decorated with posters, original photos, autographed guitars, and much more. It was in the basement of Beacon Hotel that we found the second gem of the evening. Bournemouth folk club, this club had held two of their midweek folk night here, we had attended their third and final at this venue. We were pleased to learn that the Bournemouth Folk Club in not constrained to one venue, so will be sure to visit Bournemouth Folk Club again in another venue and highly recommend you do.
The third of the three gems was indeed the very reason we had gone to Bournemouth, FLOK a trio from Brighton who were the headline act for the evening. They performed a dynamic set of complex song both musically and lyrically. Lyrics often had a spiritual viewpoint, none more so than ‘Comets and Galaxies’ which Alexandra (singer) introduce by saying she did not know the meaning of the song. I naturally was intrigued by this, how could the very person who wrote the song not know its meaning.
“I genuinely can't remember what this song is about. Sometimes when I write I may feel an emotion that I want to express. I will find words which reflect this emotion. Like a painter uses colour to provoke a feeling I use words. We also use a lot of dynamic contrast within each song I think this is another way we can portray emotion”.
There is no doubt that Alexandra enjoys performing to an audience. She makes eye contact with each audience member whilst singing, and between songs she is conversational which encourages audience banter. There is also banter on stage between Alexandra and Dan (guitarist), which continued during our interview with them. Dan explained how this interplay between himself and Alexandra lends itself to song writing.
“Alexandra will write the lyrics, she’ll then come to me. I will come up with some suitable chords, just trying to sketch out the song. Once I have a skeleton track, Alexandra and I will work together finalising the song”.
FLOK are described as a folk band, but they are a modern folk band pushing the boundaries of folk. This gives them a universal appeal. I asked how their style has developed?
"We like to use the same skeleton for all our songs, this gives us a common theme which is folk. As we progress with writing each song, we will add other influences, which range from Rock to Latin".
Whilst we spoke I was surprised to learn that drummer Greg had only joined the band a few days previously. He played well, which makes me excited to think how good the band will sound once Eric is more established within the band. This got us talking about how they see FLOK in the future.
“We have ambitions for a bigger band, maybe with keyboards but at the moment we are trying to get the band we have slick and polished. Tonight we are a trio but for bigger gigs we’ll often have a bass player, we try to tailor our band to the project/performance. As for the immediate future we are going to take a three month break from live performances. This will allow us to get into the studio and start recording our new album, which we aim to release before winter.”