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CoCo and the Butterfields will be breaking up their Glastonbury appearances with a huge concert at Margate Winter Gardens this Saturday, June 28.
Jo Roberts reports on the band recently crowned the 'Ones to Watch' at the Culture Awards for East Kent.
It’s a good job that CoCo and the Butterfields’ founder and guitarist Tom Twyman doesn’t take things personally.
If he couldn’t laugh off the constant ribbing of his bandmates then Kent wouldn’t have the pleasure of this five-piece group’s unique folk, hip hop and pop fusion.
“Tom sweats so much during gigs that I could sail on his face – he’s a human waterfall,” says banjo player Rob Wicks, 20, nicknamed Handsome by the others for obvious reasons.
“One word to describe him on stage? Annoying!” continues Rob, playfully warming to this theme before dreadlocked Tom, 25, butts in, “Can’t you say something nice? The word I used to describe you was ‘sexy’!”
Now it’s the turn of enigmatic blonde frontwoman Dulcima Showan, 21, to enter the fray: “The word for Rob should be ‘L’Oreal’ because he stands on stage with his hair covering his face and then flicks it back.”
You can’t blame Dulcima for cheerfully stepping in to defend Tom – he is her boyfriend after all. The pair became the original members of CoCo in 2011 after Tom first saw Dulcima at a pub open mic night at Westbere, near Canterbury. “I heard her singing and she had a violin but she just held it – come to think of it, she didn’t play it once,” says Tom, who was already a singer-songwriter himself with thoughts of forming a band.
“I’d been looking for a female singer who could also play the violin – based on that performance, it’s a good job it turned out that Dulcima actually can play it!”
Can she ever – having taken classical violin lessons since the age of six and reached a formal Grade 6 before embarking on her accomplished freestyling with the band, Dulcima is a very skilled musician. Bringing the type of urban street beats that are self-taught rather than learned through lessons is beatboxer Jamie ‘Euphex’ Smith, 23, and the fifth element of the CoCo crew is double bassist Micah Hyson, 21. Drawn from Canterbury, Margate, Maidstone and New Romney, the five-piece came together as a result of a shared respect gained on the busking circuit in Kent.
Despite coming from a range of musical backgrounds – Dulcima had decided upon folk, Tom had been influenced by the passion for pop and hip hop of his dad (DJ Andy FX who was in residence at Canterbury’s the Bizz in the 1990s) and Rob was a blues guitarist – they quickly developed a mixed sound that reflected shades of everyone’s tastes.
By 2012 CoCo and the Butterfields were playing to packed and sold-out gigs all across Kent and had a tingling sense of great things on the horizon, but the best is yet to come.
With three spots at this week's Glastonbury Festival on the Avalon and Solar stages, they will jump into their psychedelically-decorated tour bus, nicknamed Frank, to head home to Kent for the biggest gig of their lives on Saturday night, July 28. At 7.30pm they take to the stage of the Margate Winter Gardens, Kent's biggest live music venue, for a concert to launch their new EP, See the Sun. After that, it will be back on the road to Somerset for their last gig of Glasto on Sunday, June 29.
Band manager Dan Showan - frontwoman Dulcima's brother - said: "We fully intend to sell out the Margate Winter Gardens, Kent's largest venue. This is an achievement unrivalled by any other local band of our size and independence."
Catch CoCo and the Butterfields at the Margate Winter Gardens this Saturday, June 28 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £12. Call 01843 or visit www.margatewintergardens.co.uk
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