Kiya Ashton EP Launch with The Cor Damme Lars, Gregory Harrison and Elisha Horsepool – The Doghouse – 05/12/18

Kiya Ashton
Kiya Ashton

After the previous week’s mid-week show at St James it was time for another Wednesday night outing, this time at The Doghouse to celebrate the release of Sweet Decadence, the debut EP from 15-year-old musician and songwriter Kiya Ashton, along with support in the night from The Cor Damme Lars, Gregory Harrison and Elisha Horsepool.

Elisha is a contemporary of Kiya’s at The School of Popular Music and started the night with a mix of cover and original songs, including a brave but successful take on John Lennon’s Imagine.

With a great voice and some good guitar playing Elisha started the night off well and is certainly another young performer on the island to keep an eye on in the coming years.

Elisha Horsepool
Elisha Horsepool

The last couple of years have seen Gregory Harrison‘s performances happen as part of The Recks more than as a solo performer, at least away from open mic nights and the like, so it was good to hear him back in this mode, even if he was by his own admission a little under prepared.

None-the-less he delivered one of his usual fine performances of his intensely soulful songs, along with a rarely heard cover as a nod to the venue more used to staging tribute acts (don’t worry it wasn’t Wonderwall), as the bar began to fill up.

Hot on the heels of their great set opening for The Baghdaddies the previous week,The Cor Damme Lars were back, albeit without drummer Andy.

Despite that the band upped the energy of the evening very nicely, in particular with a song that I think they said was about an octopus, and Balkan Beast that got a few dancing.

The Cor Damme Lars
The Cor Damme Lars

Unfortunately they were also the first of the night’s acts to be somewhat interrupted by those who had gathered in the bar to watch the night’s football… quite why a night of live music had been booked alongside a night of, apparently, rather exciting football remains something of a mystery as, while it didn’t end up spoiling the night, it was certainly clear the two gatherings weren’t really compatible.

Of course the main act of the night was Kiya Ashton and she delivered a set mixing her own songs with covers delivered with a tremendous confidence.

Starting with Cranberries Zombie and later in the set a huge version of Skunk Anansie’s Weak and, as its now December and I guess just about acceptable, a version of The Pretender’s 2000 Miles.

Kiya Ashton and Gregory Harrison
Kiya Ashton and Gregory Harrison

Later in the set Kiya was joined by Gregory Harrison on violin which added a new dynamic and variety to the sound on A Lie and set closer Sweet Decadence – that said Kiya’s guitar playing alone was nicely varied with finger picking sections standing out and it being far from the repetitive strumming of many a solo acoustic act.

While the night may have had a slightly odd feel thanks to the divided groups in the bar, on the music side it felt like a great showcase kind of event and was culminated by the best performance I’ve seen yet from Kiya making for a great way to mark the release of her debut EP that hopefully is just the beginning of her time as a musical artist.

Click here to see all my photos from the show on the BBC Music Introducing In Guernsey Facebook page

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