Review: Gecko + Daniel Piper + Sam Griffiths & Jess Cooksey @ Stretchy Suzies Yoga Pad, Cardiff.


Gecko & Daniel Piper in Action

So I was gonna be back in my home town of Cardiff again and casually asked an old mate from the past if he'd be playing any shows soon as I had seen he'd been pretty active music wise recently. Next thing I know I'm with another old mate at a yoga studio with candles for a mix of music, comedy and slam poetry, not really what I expected, but I'm open to everything.

The night starts of with one half of Tales in the Shade.Sam Griffiths & Jess Cooksey. Both old school friends of mine, but what they produce is something quite different to what I have heard from them all those years ago at Open Mic nights down the The Social. Most of the songs had a somewhat comical nature, yet the sound produced was serious and hitting in tone as well as posture. My particular favourite was the one about a boy debating to himself whether he should go and help his ex-girlfriend with and exorcism that has gone wrong, as funny as the nature of the story was, the way it was performed could not help stir up emotions inside you. As always Sam was a great performer to the crowd with self-realisation such as noticing the guitar didn't quite hit the back of the room, so he starts moving around the room to change the dynamics to a little bit, he also threw in his own 'slam poetry' with the occasional 'dad joke' thrown in for effect and decoration. Jess's skills as a pianist and vocalist can never truly be disputed she plays with the skill you can see she has mastered over the years with nothing, but ever lasting improvement and still has a voice that will hit you with something you did not expect, no matter how many times you hear it. I haven't had the chance to see the full band, but I have heard some of their music online and truly recommend if you are in Cardiff or South Wales, tack the chance to go and see them. There is a link to their Facebook page in their name and Soundcloud in the picture. They will be playing at The Moon Cardiff 4th December 2018.

Following the musical performance of Sam & Jess, we got to hear the delights of Daniel Piper's poetry. At firstly seemingly very White Middle Class its was still in many aspects relatable. The great thing about this was that he does not try to pretend anything else, he fully owns the facts of who he is, where hes from, where he went and the same stupid mistakes most of us in his generation have made on a social and academic level. Our favourite was the Gecko collaboration where Daniel owns the fact that he moved to Scotland and won their national slam poetry championship in 2017 insinuating somewhat theft. This leads to a comical egotistical boast about stealing areas championships until Gecko reminds him that he came second in the world championship. His performance is on point, he owns any slip ups and mistakes well providing a really human aspect to the flow, he knows how to relate it to the audience and he wears all his pauses well. The guy has high comical value and I wanted to know more so I purchased his book for Are You Lost Yet? His book Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper is interesting, I myself have had a skim read through it, as did my friend who joined me for the performance. A number of the poems hit home hand and fast in a humorous man, but we won't lie, a number of the four line ones were a bit odd. However, that adds to the value of the book. We have left the book knocking about our office which has Welsh, English, Albanian and Estonian people in it, so we are awaiting views from them! I would recommend the book as good, light and comical reading and if you do have the chance to see him in action, go for it, he is at the end it, an excellent performer.

The final act of the night and headliner was Gecko a storytelling, singing and self-proclaimed reptilian musician. After a sneak peek of his work alongside Daniel Piper we know got to see Gecko in his element, solo. Now the first thing I'll say is I really like Gecko, even if he did give me a bit of banter about going for a slash. Hes comical, playful and works great in such and intimate setting, which makes me want to compare the performance to a bigger stage, of which I hope I get the chance. Myself and my friend were a bit split on favourite tracks here, I personally preferred his iPhone song whereas my mate preferred his interpretation of Repunzel. However, we were both nodding a long to the catchy Guanabana Juice. Similar to Sam & Jess some of his songs are comical, but insight emotions of a serious nature as well, yet he does provide a lot more simply comical songs as well. One thing we both noticed is his voice is quite unique and projects well, its a type of vocal I personally have not encountered before and it was interesting. One of the great things about his songs is that a large number of them tackle modern day semi-serious issues, but in the manner they need to be discussed with a humorous twist. Following that his inter-action with the audience is on point and the combination of the music and his performance left us feeling somewhat energiser and pretty damn happy! Fully recommended and you can check out his music by clicking on the picture. In the end it was a nice fully of awesome performers and also a cool crowd. The venue was something new and interesting for us, we don;t think we have been to a gig in a yoga studio before, let alone one that was also Bring Your Own Booze and mostly candle lit. It all contributed to the whole show and we throughly enjoyed the night peek of his work alongside Daniel Piper we know got to see Gecko in his element, solo. Now the first thing I'll say is I really like Gecko, even if he did give me a bit of banter about going for a slash. Hes comical, playful and works great in such and intimate setting, which makes me want to compare the performance to a bigger stage, of which I hope I get the chance. Myself and my friend were a bit split on favourite tracks here, I personally preferred his Iphone song whereas my mate preferred his interpretation of Repunzel. However, we were both nodding a long to the catchy Guanabana Juice. Similar to Sam & Jess some of his songs are comical, but insight emotions of a serious nature as well, yet he does provide a lot more simply comical songs as well. One thing we both noticed is his voice is quite unique and projects well, its a type of vocal I personally have not encountered before and it was interesting. One of the great things about his songs is that a large number of them tackle modern day semi-serious issues, but in the manner they need to be discussed with a humorous twist. Following that his inter-action with the audience is on point and the combination of the music and his performance left us feeling somewhat energiser and pretty damn happy! Fully recommended and you can check out his music by clicking on the picture.In the end it was a nice fully of awesome performers and also a cool crowd. The venue was something new and interesting for us, we don;t think we have been to a gig in a yoga studio before, let alone one that was also Bring Your Own Booze and mostly candle lit. It all contributed to the whole show and we thoroughly enjoyed the night, if we had to rate it it would be 9/10, however it was too interesting an event to go down to ratings in our opinion! Cheers and Thank You! Are You Lost Yet? Crew.