Forest Porridge performed last night at Walker’s Pub. Having heard their music only once before, I was excited to hear how they had progressed since I had heard them last October. The music project consists of guitarist and lyricist, Colin Martin, and trumpeter and vocalist, Dan Dwyer. They performed the songs I had heard in October as well as the new creations that I was excited to hear. To open the performance, however, Liam Martin, elder brother to Colin, played his set list as the audience gathered in the pub. Before leaving the stage to Forest Porridge, Liam Martin’s last song covered Outkast’s Hey Ya! in an indie-folk rendition. As Forest Porridge took the stage moments later, I was puzzled to see a decayed tan suitcase brought up and placed at the base of the microphone stand. The mystery was revealed as Colin began his first song.
Against his intricately plucked rhythm, Colin let sail a stream of cool vocals that meshed soothingly with his guitar work. Between transitions within the song, Colin placed his foot inside the rim of the open suitcase. Only then did I realize that he had converted the old suitcase into a pedal board. Adding delays to the vocals and reverberation to the guitar, Colin’s vocals would echo softly against the ambient sound of the guitar. A few songs later, Dan Dwyer joined the stage with his trumpet.
At first, the trumpet supplemented the guitar and vocals with deeper, sustained notes. As the energy of the song increased, Dwyer’s work on the trumpet staggered long notes with multi-note flurries in between. Playing off of each other’s volume and tempo, the duo balanced the sonorous, atmospheric music of Colin Martin with the Dwyer’s soulful brass and blues. Before ending the show, Forrest Porridge announced the dedication of a song to Liam, as if thanking him for opening up the show earlier in the night. The show ended as Forest Porridge brought their last song to a climax of heavy guitar strumming and trumpet soloing. The two then simultaneously dropped their volume and tempo before ending the concert in a peaceful fade of guitar, vocals and trumpet.
Music by Forest Porridge can be found on iTunes, bandcamp and Spotify.