Two people, a couple of guitars, a banjo, flute and fiddle; think that’s adequate to get an audience on their feet?
It is when left in the hands of Iggy Gould and Cath York. Young and old sang along and danced in the two-foot of space between them and the performers known as Sound Affects at Marlborough’s Lamb last night.
In attendance I was awaiting to ferry my son home after his hockey club dinner, so reserved to remain sober, what better way to waste a few hours. The Lamb is, and always has been my choicest watering hole in Marlborough, and they’ve always had an appetite for great live music.
Last time I was here it was for the now disbanded Killertones, the ska outfit of which both Cath and Gouldy played a pivotal role. Now, as a duo, they’re equally committed to bringing us classic songs we all love, albeit their repertoire stretches far beyond the two-tone ska of the Killertones.
Now you know how it is when sober, watching others drunkenly fooling around, it’s hard to move your feet with the same enthusiasm, but blazing through a plethora of classic sing-along folk-rock, retro pop and Irish drinking songs, Gouldy and Cath entertained even me with an air of fun and professionalism.
You can see via expressions the couple are at home with a microphone and instruments as they perform masterpieces like The Jam’s That’s entertainment, ELO’s Mr Blue Sky, Rod’s I Don’t Want to Talk About it and Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl, not forgetting dancefloor stomping Dexy’s Come on Eileen, a track which gets your Gran shaking her tailfeather.
Each tune is a sing-a-long classic, crafted in their own fashion, some bringing a modern touch, such as Green Days’ Time of Your life, eighties pop benchmarks like The Cure’s Lullaby and a brilliantly executed cover of Wishful thinking by China Crisis, in which Gouldy challenges the younger of the audience to be familiar with it; me, I recall it only too well.
The short songs come thick and fast, slipping in Irish folk-rock from Pouges to Dubliners, and comical drunken shouting melodies American Pie and The Proclaimer’s I’m Gonna Be, even allowing a young sozzled requesting spectator join him in Take me Home Country Roads. With wit and charm, every song a blast, and the simplest of formulas made to look easy, Sound Affects would bring sybaritic jollity to a Christian Science Reading Room.
Booked at the Devizes Scooter Club’s prestigious Scooter Rally next year, I had to ponder how a duo would fair against bands, but last night left me with no doubts. “We done ten songs that we’ve never done before,” Gouldy told me afterwards, but I couldn’t have guessed which ones. Catch them gigging in your area, promoters – do yourself a favour, book them; there’s a maturity to their acoustic sound for newcomers to strive for, and a wholly entertaining evening to be had.