EP REVIEWS – Where are you now
Having listened to this, there first EP, quite a few times now, I recognise what a good record this is. In places it is spacious, others powerful and full sounding, all the while the musical ideas and musicianship shine pretty brightly, making an impression on me. The song lyrics too, are pretty cool, thoughtful, forward looking, hopeful, all in all, a feel good factor accompanied by excellent music. The subjects of each lyric, are so well written, that we hear and absorb their meaning in such a natural way – which many a songwriter/band would love to have this facility in their songs.
09/04/2018 By Nimrod
Switched on lyrics, smart arrangements and psychedelic in all the right places, the debut EP from british band 'Woski' is a rallying cry for a more sensitive, positive and emotional connection with the world around us.
Opening with a song, for these, our times, 'grow on trees' is a declaration of intent from the band. Exploring issues of injustice, inequality it's a clarion call to all, to open minds and hearts and to grasp for something higher and more meaningful. In the wake of this, the group ushers in the plaintive 'where are you now', an appeal for a kindred connection. midway through the piece, swirling guitars and an insistent beat leads to a beautiful restrained guitar solo before the song resolves one last time and flows to coda.
Next up, 'bizarre' is reminiscent of 'the byrds' during their creative, hallucinatory chapter. it's a neat song that questions and ponders on the great questions of existence before finally offering a definitive answer. there's some smart interplay between the instruments. the bass and percussion keep everything steady and create a groove for the words to hang on, whilst combined male and female vocals lend a dreamy, shimmery, quality to the proceedings. The penultimate offering 'summertime, makes good use of major and minor 7th chords to produce a piece with a unique sound. acoustic led, it's perhaps the most tender number on the EP; a simple desire for better times ahead.
Saving the best till last in this reviewers opinion, 'end of time' is no doubt,by now, a firm fan favourite. a memorable melody and an end hook that most bands would kill for, the song builds builds to a magnificent crescendo of crashing bass and percussion, sparkling guitars and rich harmony voices. haunting lyrics coupled with an emphatic beat drive the music forwards. we hear the introduction of overdriven electric guitar as the pulse intensifies and kicks up one more time for the hookline, a wordless melody, that will have audiences singing along. a slow fade out brings the EP to a close on what has been an enjoyable and memorable listening experience.
Dean Thom - Professional musician
Uplifting messages and an awesome sound; Woski are a truly wonderful band with an inspiring festival aura" Darren Poyzer - musician and music promoter
Manchester based Woski, like a lot of my favourite contemporary bands, are difficult to pigeonhole in terms of musical genre. The starting point is probably the fractured Americana of the likes of Sparklehorse, in fact they perform “Painbirds” as part of their live set. This approach is then filtered through late 60s British pastoral psychedelia, both musically and in a childlike lyrical innocence. Woski are a very good live band, but the clear production on this EP brings out the excellence of the songs even more.
The first song, “Grow on trees”, has a political message but this is made more potent by the warmth of the personal lyrics. The listener is immediately struck by lead singer Hari’s unusual voice, which is typically Manc only in the sense of being full of attitude and defiance. This track is also lit up by Marty Revell’s tasteful and expressive acoustic lead guitar playing.
The EP as a whole is characterised by instantly accessible tunes and beautiful playing, featuring swathes of psychedelia and the kind of Beatlesque guitar arpeggios that I’m extremely partial to. Wisely, Woski keep their live tour de force “End of time” until last; its singalong chorus and powerful percussive break give it a dynamism that make the track stand out.
An excellent debut from one of Greater Manchester’s most interesting bands.
Andy Callen, Manchester music promoter
This is very atmospheric stuff (making intriguing and fascinating patterns in the mind). Keep on making beautiful music.
Bob Kettle (Merry Hell)
'Where Are You Now' by Woski is an EP I've been looking forward to hearing for some time. It's collection of their very best songs to date, All written by Hari Woski-Cawthorne. Producer and percussionist Wiz Mossley does a great job in capturing the sound in a way that reflects the live performance of the songs.
My personal favourites are 'Grow On Trees' and 'Bizarre', which both boast some great chorus hooks. I think what I admire most about Woski is their bold and unique style that sets them apart as a very original band. Having also interviewed them on radio, I've learned that the band member's individual influences can be very different but they are somehow unified in a deliberate acoustic, psychadelic feel that's conveyed through everything from the lyrics, the instrumentation, their look and cover art. It's a very promising first outing for Woski, best listened to on a relaxing weekend, which I happen to have found myself in!
Chris Tavener - Singer-songwriter
This lovely debut EP by Woski breathes a breath of fresh air into the world of folk music. ‘Where Are You Now’ has an alternative approach to the usual line up of ‘Folk’ instruments with a lovely blend of electronics/traditional weaving in and out of each other to create an excellent little collection of original Woksi songs!
Mark Holdsworth - The Narrowboat Sessions
LIVE FESTIVAL REVIEW
Out To Play Festival
Sunday 7 July 2019
It had been a long weekend, and Sunday’s at festivals are always long days whether you’re working, volunteering, playing, or a very essential ticket buying member of the public? Many walk around glazed, dazed with a ‘what the bijeebers just happened?’ look on their faces. Others simply wander and wonder, reluctant to make unnecessary demands of themselves or their memory, yet all without exception share a familiar sparkle in their eyes and a grin that says ‘If you weren’t there, you wouldn’t understand!’ At 6.15pm on Sunday 7the July 2019, Woski were just the required ingredient to provide the cherry on the bun, the icing on the cake, the sprinkle of seeds on your falafel salad at what was an incredible and joyous first ever Out To Play festival at Lime Tree Farm near Rippon.
Woski describe their sound as melodic rock / folk with a psychedelic edge, though I put it to you that the edge they speak of is a very broad edge, one that sits fat and firmly alongside its peers within the contemporary psychedelic movement.
(Though I struggle to think of any others who measure up if I’m honest, perhaps Woski are a one band movement?)
Familiar with their work as I have their CD in the door pocket of my car and enjoyed them live on a couple of occasions previously, I was keen to see what others less familiar with Woski’s work would make of them. From the offset eager friends, family and fans gathered within the Cloth Cat marquee in anticipation of the wonderful world of Woski, had they heard them before, or had they come recommended? It mattered not, even the sound-check was applauded which brought others from outer field flocking to the party.
Hari and Helena’s vocals reassure the curious craver of something new, that they have indeed made the right choice. Heads bobbing under the marquee are easily encouraged to take a couple of steps indoors and become part of the show, comforted, welcomed. And whilst minimalist but oh so wonderfully effective percussion merges with Max’s bass grooviness, Rev’s electric guitar twerks and flirts around each perfect tune with joyful abandon, ensuring that you, the audience and witness to this genuinely wondrous occasion stick around, sharing space and time with kindred souls.
It was Wiz’s birthday, and whilst his very accomplished cajon and djembe skills are obvious, tonight he played with whistles and bells too. I mean quite literally, Wiz played with whistles and bells too, adding yet another layer to the birthday space cake. Reader, it was emerging quite quickly and obviously that this wasn’t simply another Woski gig; this was ‘THE’ Woski gig (Thus far.) The occasion massaged me assertively but gently into a place I rarely touch base with these days.
The opening track ‘Before The Birds’ had me looking out for the reactions of others, did they approve? The second ‘Bizarre’ had me moving my mouth like I thought I knew every word and breath to take, but clearly didn’t. The third ‘Where Are You Now?’ had me swimming dweebstyle without water, not a jot of care was given, vanity and ego had fled clean out the door, and I loved it, thank you Woski!
Full set list as follows:
An hour passed seemingly and unfairly in the swish of a unicorns tail, ain’t that always the bloody case!? Hari’s classic stage exit as ‘End OF Time’ came to flippy, trippy finish brought a wince to my face as he landed what looked like awkwardly but I needn’t have worried, tangled in his guitar lead, and lost a button from his shirt he was largely unscathed and grinning from ear to ear, He and the rest of Woski had given everything.
Currently my favourite tracks are Grow on Trees and Bizarre. I say currently as I feel Woski have yet to finish seducing me. I await with eager anticipation the full on, gate fold sleeved, play it backwards for the hidden Kirtan, concept double album, on vinyl if you don’t mind please.
Bands like Woski do not ‘Grow on trees, they grow inside your mind!’
Cloth Cat marquee, Out To Play festival, 7 July 2019!
I was there man...where you!?
Jethro Platts July 2019
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