Its Own Animal and Kiya Ashton And The Folkadelics – The Vault – 03/12/21

Its Own Animal
Its Own Animal

After being delayed at the tail end of the summer, Friday 3rd December 2021 was finally time for Its Own Animal (aka Garry Minto) to celebrate the release of his latest album, his first since moving to Guernsey, Good To Be Home, with support coming from Kiya Ashton.

Ashton opened the show but, rather than her usual solo performance, we were treated to the debut of her new backing band, The Folkadelics, featuring Brunt’s Elliott Mariess and Squirrel on bass and drums and Andy Degnen on fiddle.

Taking her now familiar songs and adding the extra backing transformed them, bringing a real swing to proceedings while the fiddle often acted as lead in the new instrumental sections with various effects giving the songs a new feels that managed to not lose what made them work so well in the first place.

Kiya Ashton and the Folkadelics
Kiya Ashton and the Folkadelics

Being far more than the standard rock backing one might have expected we got a kind of reggae feel in some places, jazz in others, and indie elsewhere with Birdie becoming something huge as it built, Lexie taking on an epic groove and her customary cover of Cranberries’s Zombie going all a bit disco.

Having had only three weeks practice together there were a few moments that were a little rough around the edges but they took them in their stride with Kiya building on her confidence as a performer to chat with the audience and overcome the few slip ups and I’m already looking forward to seeing them again.

Having started out at The Vault open mic nights around a year ago, after moving to island around the time of the first lockdown, Its Own Animal has gained something of a reputation as a unique presence on the Guernsey music scene combining live guitar, vocals and synths with drum loops and more to create house and dance infused sounds in a live environment.

Its Own Animal and Nick Coleman
Its Own Animal and Nick Coleman

Armed with a telecaster, a keyboard and a pair of drum pads his natural enthusiasm carried him through over an hour on stage and, while it took me a few songs to adjust to the different to usual sounds for the venue, once it did it all sounded terrific.

Trick Finger Blues provided the first real highlight of several for me, while Survival took things in a darker direction but was an absolute banger and Come For Me was transporting with its summery vibes inspired by Cobo bay.

Nick Coleman joined Garry on stage to add extra guitar to a few songs, including Good To Be Home and a big groovy jam of a track toward the end of the set.

As he closed the set as we reached curfew for the venue I got the impression Garry would have carried on all night given the chance as he appeared so in his element on stage it was great to see and hear as, despite the technological nature of the music, his style and delivery felt organic in a way that really connected making this a great way to celebrate the new album and hear these songs live in full while being something rather different and new for the islands music scene which he took the time to celebrate as well.

You can see more of my photos from the show on my Facebook page by clicking here

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