Jacob & Drinkwater. The Folk House, Bristol.

A folk duo I’ve never heard of, venue I’ve somehow never been to in Bristol with excellent reputation.

A while back I went to the excellent Downend Folk Club on the invitation of my mate Kate. We saw India Electric Co (about 10 gigs ago, I think) and through that I was invited to come along to this gig. I’ve always wanted to go to the Folk House, it has a very Bristolian vibe and a reputation for being really friendly. So I took the opportunity to visit and hear some more new music.

I wasn’t disappointed in the venue. It is an intimate space, with an excellently stocked bar for someone who doesn’t drink booze or caffeine! I had so much choice, it was fantastic. The people were friendly too.

Support came from Jack Cookson, as it had at India Electric Co. I was very pleased to get a chance to hear him play again. He was much better tonight, more confident and happier. Between the miserable songs he chatted away, making us laugh and warm to him. He played 5 songs I think, some different from last time I heard him. He plays acoustic guitar and harmonica (which I didn’t think I liked, but when Jack plays it I do) and sings lamenting songs. He is a talented musician and a lovely lad, his stuff is available on Spotify so listen to him say I.

Folk gigs are infinitely more civilised, you get a break between acts and during acts. Where you can buy bottomless coffee and, more excitingly for me, a range of gluten free cakes. I treated myself to a millionaires shortbread (yum) and received my first Jane Austen tenner in the change. I hadn’t realised how much this would mean to me, to get my hands on a note with a woman on. Representation matters. I was asked earlier today, why I had picked the bass to learn and not the guitar. There are other reasons but the main one is that there are a range of female bass players to look at as inspiration. Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads being mine. When you see someone like you, you feel comfortable and included. Female guitarists tend to also be singers and I cannot sing. I can, now, play bass a little.

Jacob & Drinkwater are a duo, formed of Tobias and Lukas (I think both also solo artists), one of whom plays guitar, the other double bass & piano. They both sing. Beautifully. Folk music can be heartbreakingly beautiful, aching and longing and full of regret. More than once tonight I was in tears, the music, the harmonies, Tobias’s gorgeous voice, just set me off. Parallel hit nerves I didn’t need exposing, as did Real Love. No amount of joking between songs (and they did a good line in surreal humour) could detract from the emotional content of the music. Lush, rich melodies spilling out of them and into my head and heart, reaching the places only music can.

A couple of the tracks were different, one I’d have to describe as flamenco blues (distinct Jagger vibes) and another just piano and voice that was darker and showcased Tobias’s voice wonderfully. I loved all of it and I wish I could get down to Exeter to see them play with a full band next week.It was a complete pleasure to see and feel this gig in such a lovely intimate and warm space.

40 gigs started as silly idea and has grown and developed into so much more. I went to tonight’s gig with open ears and an open heart. I was rewarded with music that hit me in the feelings. I walked home, alone and in the rain, with a feeling of looking for something I cannot find. ┬áDespite the late hour I may just pick up my bass and see if I can express it that way.

Thank you Ant for showcasing the talent you help look after. Thank you Jack and Jacob & Drinkwater for sharing your souls with me, through your songs. Thank you Folk House for being you, don’t you ever change.

33 down. 7 to go.