Review: August and After at Cecil’s*

Do you remember my DIY post on in aid of a costume for a Game of Thrones party? Or that awful fancy dress outfit for Fee’s 60s birthday party? Well, it turns out that dear Fee is a somewhat well connected lady.  She was kind enough to introduce me to Ned Mortimer and Jordan Bergmans, who make up two thirds of August and After. They also happen to be two of the loveliest people I have ever met.


So how did accidental networking at my friend’s parties turn into a review? And who are August and After? Let’s start at the obvious place and introduce the band. And there is no better way than in their own words.

“Ned Mortimer and Vedantha Kumar began weaving together their voices and guitars in Cambridge, drawn together by their mutual love of songwriting and entertaining crowds. After moving to London, they met violist Jordan Bergmans, who made them a playlist of her favourite classical music – the boys then proceeded to court her for several months before eventually persuading her to share her rich viola lines. Thus, the unique classically-inspired indie folk of August and After was born…” (From their website)

It also turns out that Jordan is a regular visitor here on CC.CC. So when she found out I was finally making it to one of their gigs, she asked if I could tell all you guys about what a wonderful time I had. Fortunately, I did have a great time and spreading the news about their classically-inspired indie folk tunes is something I gladly do.

The venue for the night was Cecil’s, a cocktail bar in SE1 in London, decorated as a treehouse upstairs and with an oriental theme downstairs. We were downstairs and there was a real speakeasy vibe, complete with a cloakroom designed to look like a Chinese laundry. Spot on! We proceeded to find ourselves a spot in one of the booths, with gin and tonics in hand, ready for the music to begin.

The opening act was Ned Roberts, another folk singer from the London area. I had never heard any of his songs before but was very happy to discover another folk songwriter and singer. I may know nothing about music (grade 3 flute in eight years of learning) but I know that I like acoustic guitars ad folk songs. I have to admit that none of his individual songs have stuck with me but that’s often the case the first time I hear a new artist. I’ll definitely be exploring and subscribing to his YouTube channel.

After about five songs, Ned Roberts gave up his spotlight for Ned, Vedantha and Jordan to celebrate the launch of their latest music video. At some point there was an interval, when I lost my seat while getting a K-Swizzle cocktail, but I didn’t mind as the music more than made up for having to stand. The funniest highlight of the night was learning the difference between Ned and Vedantha’s voices; something that’s a little difficult to do on a recording.

 
 Musically, I think it’s Jordan’s viola that makes August and After stand out for me. Though I would still enjoy their music without any string instrument, the classical music that Jordan’s training and instrument brings definitely adds something. It was beautiful to just be there and listen to three talented musicians (I don’t care how corny this sounds) pour themselves into their music. I was lucky enough to hear my favourite, Set Sail, as well as be introduced to their new version of Halley and a few songs from their upcoming album.
The real highlight of the night was hearing Wolves live for the first time. It’s a little different to their normal style but at the same time it is totally them. It is a great song though somehow provoking. I know that, as is the case with Embers, the next album will be just the thing to listen to when writing up new posts. Some songs were definitely written to stir the creative juices. 
Finally, I would like to say a massive thank you to Ned, Vedantha and Jordan for inviting me to the gig.  
xxx
The post Review: August and After at Cecil’s* first appeared on CounterCultural. CounterCouture.
*Alongside being friends with two members of August and After, I was gifted with my ticket. While I am very grateful for this, all views are my own. 
*This post does contain affiliate links. However, I must state that I would not suggest anything I don’t personally approve of or love.

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