Review: India Electric Co.

You name it; they can play it. From gypsy jazz to contemporary folk “India electric co.” incorporate exotic musical influences into a colourful live performance. Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe return to the Beehive in Honiton to play an intimate gig in their home town.

As the duo take the stage Joseph begins the distinctive introduction to “Lost in translation” on the piano accordion, and the song begins. The Interweaving lines of piano accordion and guitar wash around the audience, Cole’s voice riding easily over the top. The duo has a way of echoing the lyrics in the music, in this case the ever changing rhythm of the song introducing the theme of transience.

The evening unfolds offering an entrancing mix of musical idioms that colour their songs and leaves the audience knowing that they have seen and heard a very fresh voice on the British music scene. A particularly powerful moment is when the two start their second set by walking un-plugged back into the hall playing the “Thought Fox”. This reinforces the intimacy of the gig and reminds me of buskers, as if the audience has suddenly discovered something new and inspiring. The effortless lilt of gypsy jazz violin interjects the song, as if there is a conversation between the lyrics and violin melody and the audience can’t help but be transfixed.

As well as being impressed by the range of musical genres, some people in the audience may have noticed Joseph’s ability to play more than one instrument at once, namely the piano accordion (as normal) and the keyboard with his feet.

As well as originals, the duo played two beautiful covers of the well-known songs “I’m on Fire” by Bruce Springsteen and “Still Crazy After All These Years” by Paul Simon. Their pared down versions of these songs allowed the audience to focus on elements they hadn’t noticed before, adding depth to both the accompaniment and lyrics of the songs.

During the course of the evening the two quickly built a rapport with the audience, their conversational style and supreme musicianship allowing the audience to relax and enjoy an evening of original and diverse music.

By Florence Rutherfoord.

September 10th 2016