The first time I ever caught Chris Ridgeway sing was at a highly under attended open mic night at the sadly departed Toucan Club in Cardiff. I can’t remember the song but I was so struck by it I had to ask him who it was by, “just one of mine” he humbly replied. Although I was surprised that it wasn’t some old international hit I had just happened to miss, I have since learned that some of the best songs in the world don’t always get heard beyond the singer’s circle of followers. I’m sure some don’t make it off the writer’s page.
Not only was it a great song but the passion, depth and talent with which he sang definitely stopped me in my tracks. I wasn’t to hear him again however, until my good friend and old house mate Bryce played me a CD of the band Doofer. He had taken the name of his art, music and dance collective, Peaceful Progress from their song ‘Spirit Of The Bliss’.
It’s not actually Chris on lead vocals for this song mind, I’m not quite sure which one of them it was but if anyone knows feel free to enlighten me. I would ask Bryce but as it was his wedding day yesterday I’m not so sure he’ll be easily contactable.
In fact it was Bryce and Jodie’s (truly amazing) wedding that inspired this post as Doofer’s latest incarnation, Cakehole Presley, played on the evening of their big day, kicking off with another song that I love. This time with Chris back on lead vocal.
Despite their set being inundated by enough sound issues, power cuts and alcohol to have seen any remotely prima donna group crumble, they still managed to pull off an incredible set that was testament to how raw talent will shine through anything. It’s easy to get frustrated at the inequities of the music industry that allow (enter talentless pop idol here) to be massive whilst bands like Cakehole Presley are probably set to remain in relative obscurity, but that is to fall victim to the false belief that industry is the be all and end all of music. Personally I’m not sure I’d want the game to ruin their raw purity (perhaps purity is not the correct word to describe these fellas mind) and I’m happy enough to know that they exist. I’m also sure the boys haven’t got pop stardom in their sights, although I’m sure they’d be happy if you picked up a copy of their album here.
There are very few good videos of the boys on YouTube but if you close your eyes to ignore the really poor syncing this is another of my favourites.