When going to concerts, you can have a vast range of experiences: in my case, it was from a small venue (Ramsgate Music Hall) to the more well known KOKO in London. These two environments completely juxtaposed each other. The Ramsgate concert was a part of their Coastal tour that occurred the day before they shot off to London. This gave me whiplash as I had to immediately adjust to how different each experience was. Coasts are a Bristolian 4 piece band that met at university. Last year they were promoted heavily via Radio 1. They performed at Radio 1’s Big Weekend last year in Glasgow and had their single, ‘A Rush of Blood’, be premiered as ‘Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record’ back in October 2014.
Ramsgate Music Hall was an intimate, industrial venue tucked away from the seafront. I was surprised at how small it actually was. The concert room was the size of an average open plan living room. The crowd was mostly made up of people just being curious about the band and people wanting to have a good time. It was a good turn out for a mid week gig. The support act was a local band called Skies. It was a big opportunity for a local band to get their music out there via a major band which I fully support. However, I did not like the genre of music they played and did not enjoy myself during their set in my personal opinion. Coasts were welcomed with a warm reception to the delight of the band.
Their setlist was made up of songs from their EP’s. They only played 11 songs which is a short and sweet set list for such an intimate gig. Coasts opened with Wallow which started with a long build up and then kicked off into an energetic and upbeat track. They effortlessly segued into the next track, Your Soul. This is another song you can easily dance to. It’s another track that contains an upbeat tempo which sets the tone for the rest of the concert. Lions was another standout among the setlist. It’s a relaxing, chilled song that Chris Caine’s vocals help with soothing your soul when he croons to you. It gives you a feeling that it’s just you and him in that room singing, the sound echoing off of the walls acoustic style. The band received a huge amount of applause and the bonus is yet to come. Since it was such a small and cozy venue, Coasts met people outside the venue and I was one of those lucky people. That made watching them at Ramsgate Music Hall worth it. They are genuine people which is nice to see when you have been supporting them for a while.
Coasts headlined KOKO with the support acts, New Motion and Bad Suns. KOKO is a huge step up from Ramsgate Music Hall with a 2000+ capacity and two levels: ground floor and the upper tier. KOKO is located in the trendy area of Camden. It was an entirely different atmosphere to the first concert. Everyone was packed in like a tin of sardines. I was among fellow fans who were there for Coasts so I felt connected to the crowd surrounding me. New Motion were surprisingly good and they gave an enjoyable performance. Bad Suns then came on to shouts and cheers from the crowd. I am a fan of Bad Suns so it was like an extra bonus seeing them live. When Coasts came on, everybody got into a frenzy and started dancing wildly. Golden City was a highlight and seemed to be London’s theme song as Chris sings about having “left my heart in London with the girl in the golden city”. London is a golden city full of opportunities like me seeing this band twice in a row. Tonight was yet another euphoric song about wanting to have an adventure and to be “safe from the pressures of modern life”. This band takes you away from your troubles making you dance the night away. Tonight certainly does a brilliant job of doing that for the audience. Tonight definitely suits the atmosphere of such a big city to get lost in and to go on an adventure. Modern Love was a particular favourite of mine. It talks about the contemporary ways of romance along with online dating and dating apps. What better song, apart from Golden City, fits London so well? The song makes you want to dance and put you in a trance like state where it is nothing but you and the music accompanying your every move. Oceans was the last song to pump the crowd up and it was definitely a fan favourite. I was front row and the people in the middle of the crowd decided to have an impromptu mosh pit when the beat dropped. Chris was getting into the feel of the song and you could tell he was having fun. He felt every emotion when “we fell in love right by the ocean”. That was the song I enjoyed the most out of the whole set list. I felt connected to every single person in that room for a brief moment in time over our shared love of a band and that is the best feeling in the world.
Despite having met the band, I definitely preferred the KOKO show as I am used to larger venues and the atmosphere made me foster excitement for the show ahead. Afterwards Chris tweeted “KOKO last night was why we do this. It’s because of all of you that we are here. Cx”. It is bands like this that appreciate their fans that will get far in life. I am sure KOKO will be among the hall of fame containing their plethora of concerts to date and I cannot wait to see what they are capable of producing next in terms of a live experience.
By Jade Fowler
All photos used are credited to Sidonia Woodward-Wallace.