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THE LIVE FILES: Cooks & Bakers

In a local music scene that is just exploding with incredible talent right now, there are some bands that are next level. Turpentine Babycino, Where’s Jimmy, Spuz, Well?, Acacia Blue and The Appointments are just some of the names that are building bigger and bigger audiences and releasing material that is getting attention both here and beyond.

Cooks & Bakers is also one of those bands. And their music has the capacity to seduce you.

Forming in 2018, the three-piece outfit have won fans with a series of impossibly infectious singles, including a brand new and brilliant single out just this week – more on that later. Their live shows have ranged from raging pub shows to intimate acoustic theatre gigs. The band have their eye on playing festivals and, when they do, the seduction will be complete. Catch them now while you can.

With eight high quality singles and an EP under their collective belts, Campbell Ross (vocals, guitar), Nathaniel Duggan (bass) and Finn Ellem (drums), have built not only an enviable reputation for producing irresistible earworms, but also a growing fan base that are flocking to their live shows and eagerly awaiting the next show or the next release. To say that the release of their debut album is highly anticipated is an understatement. 

You can hear the arc of the band’s evolution when you listen to their singles in sequence. From the clever debut single ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ right through to the just released ‘Sweet Sunday’, you can sense an advancing maturity in their songwriting and their performances. It is undeniable that this band’s potential is huge.

It was their 2nd single ‘Cage’ which really revealed the band’s ability to write memorable hooks. From the first line, which becomes indelibly etched in your brain, to the built up chorus, this is a bloody good song. For all bands that are ultimately successful, there must be a special moment, that first time when they are on stage and looking out at the audience and, as one, the crowd are singing the lyrics of their song back at them, word for word. Check out the live video of the Cooks doing ‘Cage’ at The Cambridge below – the packed house is their choir and this magic moment is unfolding. 

The band’s next single ‘Wax’ shows a slightly heavier side at times but it’s still undeniably Cooks. The candle allegory, as it applies to the protagonist’s partner, weaves lyrically over the song’s central riff and then the pulled-back chorus floats with some type of shimmering gossamer before building again. ‘When I Fall’ once again has one of those lyric and melody combinations that becomes instantly hooked into your brain. This is one of the band’s key strengths, along with the immediate engagement with that very first line of a song.  ‘Moment I’m Gone’ goes next level with these attributes and more – lush harmonies are added and Ross uses his remarkable range to traverse from the soft, sensitive delivery in the verses to the impassioned pleas of hope he sings in the chorus.

And that brings us to the brand new single ‘Sweet Sunday’, with its hometown homage in the bridge. As with each previous release, the band’s evolution is evident here. There is a real polish in the production, the hooks are heavenly and the chorus has a depth to it that will see a longevity to it staying in your head. You’ll recognise it thirty years from now.

This band is due to have a national, and maybe international, hit soon. 

It could even be ‘Sweet Sunday’.

If you’re a music lover, I highly recommend you carve out some time to listen to the songs of Cooks & Bakers and, if you can, check them out live too. Next Saturday night too soon? 

Nutstock at The Wicko, Saturday March 25 with Nana Klump, Slapjack, Loons, The Appointments, Chai Chester and William John Jr. Buy Tickets here.




WATCH: (‘Cage’ live at The Cambridge)