3 Daft Monkeys

A year on from releasing their latest offering “Of Stones and Bones”, 3 Daft Monkeys have enjoyed a triumphant release campaign over the last year following its release tour and a busy Summer festival period. In order to conclude the exposure of this emphatic release, the band have self promoted one final tour for this record to remind us of their continuing brilliance.

Lone support Brad Dear offer a stripped down version of their gruff folk-rock jaunts to greet the gradually filling venue, and while they have rightly built a name for themselves as a well known local outfit, their appeal in their stripped back format is limited on this occasion. Their stomping melodies act as a welcome background noise for those entering, but doesn’t quite cut the mustard enough to leave a memorable impression. Despite this critical perspective, their full band work offers a significant improvement (see my review of their set supporting The Beards) and there are a few glimmers of profound song-writing afoot. Once they return to their livelier format, there is certainly good reason to be behind this outfit. They just need the essential captivating spark to further themselves to the level of the many outstanding acts that they will share the stage with this year.

It’s all too easy to brand any band with energy or quirk as “fun”, as simply labelling 3 Daft Monkeys in this fashion belittles their importance to the folk genre. The band’s delivery on stage consistently justifies their reputation as firm festival favourites across the country, as their ability to put on a show of such finesse and consistent buoyancy allows them to unleash a refreshing set of their Cornish folk tales and a few old favourites for good measure.

3 Daft Monkeys

Although Tim Ashton states rather honestly that the band are still touring an album released over a year ago, this doesn’t seem to offer even a hint of staleness when the likes of “Agnes The Giant Killer”, “Sarah, The Devil and Jack”, and “World On It’s Head” offer a reminder of the quality behind their latest release. Their material seems re-energised and rehearsed down to a tee, with even a few minor technical difficulties allowing the band to express their warm, humorous characters to patch up a few potentially awkward moments of technical disparity.

Expectedly, crowd favourite “Day of the Dance” delivers the usual spellbinding waltz, turned ballroom blitz, coinciding wonderfully with a particularly stunning rendition of “Astral Eyes”. Despite the potency of their lively numbers obviously standing out as a highlight, their deeper sense of subtle melodies and softer instrumentation in other areas of their live show offers the crucial diversity that makes their quality distinguishable. It’s yet another outstanding performance from one of the brightest performing acts in folk music, and judging by their display, we’re in for a real treat when their next release reaches our ears. There’s simply never a dull moment for 3 Daft Monkeys; they shall forever remain masters of their art.


Words by George Fullerton.

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