I am amongst the very privileged few to have been party last night to by far the most intimate and smallest gig (both in venue and audience size) I have ever been to; Arc Iris at Bom Banes in Brighton.
Bom Banes is a cafe-restaurant owned by musician proprietor Jane Bon-Bane. During the day and evening it serves a variety of Belgian and other European fayre, but is unique amongst its peers in that it also hosts live music in its intimate basement environs.
Twenty-five of us crammed ourselves in for a truly memorable acoustic set from Jocie Adams and the band (aka Arc Iris). Hailing from Providence, Rhode Island, the band is Jocie’s solo project having previously fronted for The Low Anthem. Joined by Zach Miller on keys, Ray Belli on percussion, Robin Ryczek on cello and Max Johnson on bass, Arc Iris’ genre is hard to define. So I won’t even try.
Suffice to say that the evening’s performance provided us with a wonderful mix of delicate folk, strident jazz and haunting melody selected both from their debut self-titled album released earlier this year and new material performed live for the first time tonight.
Being up close and personal to the band is one thing; this took that to a whole different level. At one point Jocie stood on a bench by my knee as the acoustics closer to the ceiling gave her voice more depth for certain songs. Beer breaks a plenty, the band chatted amiably between songs, bringing all of us easily in to their conversation. The warmth exuded in more ways than one giving rise to perhaps one of the most memorable gigs I have been in to quite a while.