Friday, 18 July 2008

The Makepeace Brothers @ Nic’s Living Room Concert

Following the success of the Living Room Concert (LRC) with Jacob Golden a couple of months ago I was approached by the lovely Abi, of Room Thirteen, suggesting that my piece about the concert appear as a feature on their website. Following this she approached me about hosting further LRCs, and in particular having a Californian based band, The Makepeace Brothers, over for a gig. After the success of the last LRC I felt this would be too good an offer to pass on. Very kindly, my good friend Nic of (A dog barks) offered her living room for the show, allowing us to opt for a change of scenery and a bit more space to hold the event in this time around.

As the performance day arrived a little cloud of excitement formed over Nic’s house. Chilled beers, multiple BBQs, darts and other games awaited the guests and band. Nic had really pushed the boat out. (She actually has a boat shaped sort of bar/table which was pushed out for the day and worked as a DJ booth!)

The Makepeace Brothers were on this occasion (there are also two older brothers Aiden and Liam Makepeace who are also members of the band, but were not traveling on this tour):

Finian Makepeace (Vocals Guitar Cajon)

Conor Gaffney (Bass)

Ciaran Makepeace (Vocals Ukulele Cajon)

In case you are wondering what a Cajon is (well I’d never seen one before), it’s a really cool square shaped drum. Here’s a photo:

Ciaran playing the Cajon-he's sitting on it in case you still can't see it!

The four Makepeace brothers (that is really their surname) grew up in Ithaca, New York, surrounded by a vibrant music community. They have been singing and playing music together since they can remember but it was a year-long motorhome tour that inspired the brothers to write their own songs. Amongst their influences, they site Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and The Beatles. Ciaran also mentioned being sent to sleep by Peter Gabriel records as a child. Their music is folk orientated with the sweetest of harmonies and strong hints of Paul Simon–esque sounds.

After two weeks of constant touring around the UK, I wasn’t expecting the burst of energy that exploded when these three very charismatic guys arrived at the front door. Since it was such a lovely afternoon we decided the garden was the best place for them to play but, one song in, the British summer revealed its true colours and we all had to move indoors to get out of the rain. Wasting no time, the MPB’s (that’s what I’m going to call them from now on because it takes too long to type out their whole name) set up indoors and gave this great performance of ‘In The Garden’ (with a real city baby!).

'In The Garden'

I love Conor’s bass melodies in this song.

After a bit of baby improvisation comes a song called 'Come Back'. Not many babies get the chance to have the MPB’s sing a song especially made up for them, so this little one was very lucky; she even got her own CD signed with really adorable messages from the guys, maybe she will remember this one day when she’s older –well at least she has this video. I love the great smile on her face when she’s crawling up to them at the beginning.

'Come Back'

By this point, all the dancing (and maybe some alcohol) had got the crowd hungry so we sparked up the BBQ and my (heroic and handsome) husband took on the task of feeding the 5000.

By the way, if you didn’t believe me about the boys being energetic earlier check out Ciaran in a competition of hula hooping and playing darts at the same time!! He actually was quite good at it.

Ciaran Hula Hooping and playing darts

...but not that good :-)!

As the evening progressed guests kept arriving and the MPB’s kept playing. This song is called 'About'. It was getting a bit dark at this point but stick with it as it was a wonderful performance.


There was plenty of crowd participation and dancing well into the evening. The guys really project a great positive vibe (check it out, I’m sounding Californian!) and had several of the guests dancing during most of the songs and even got us all to whistle along with a tune as well. And, to their credit, they managed to keep their harmonies spot on despite our woeful efforts at whistling.

I did manage to steal them away for a moment to do an interview but sadly there was a technical error we didn’t notice till we ran the film back the next day – though I hope to get the brothers to answer a few questions via email soon.

The MPB’s certainly got Chalky’s seal of approval along with all of the other guests who really enjoyed themselves. If you ever get the chance to see them don’t pass it up! They are currently on tour in the US, here are some dates:

18 Jul 2008 20:00 LRC Denver Denver
19 Jul 2008 20:00 going to Mile High Music fest Denver, Colorado
20 Jul 2008 20:00 hanging out at Mile High Music Fest Denver, Colorado
24 Jul 2008 21:30 Castaways -Ithaca NY- Kick off of East Coast tour with DJ Cappel Grassroots Decompression show Ithaca, New York
25 Jul 2008 19:30 Ithaca NY -Cornell Summer concert series with Oculus- Cornell Arts quad Ithaca, New York
26 Jul 2008 20:00 Free Times Cafe - Toronto Canada Toronto, Ontario
27 Jul 2008 20:00 Toronto Canada Venue TBA Toronto, Ontario
28 Jul 2008 20:00 Club Lambi - Montreal Montreal, Quebec
29 Jul 2008 20:00 The Cutting Room NYC NYC, New York
1 Aug 2008 20:00 The Tin Angel Philly, Pennsylvania
2 Aug 2008 20:00 LRC - PA Philly, Pennsylvania
3 Aug 2008 20:00 VA tba TBA, Virginia
6 Aug 2008 20:00 VA TBA TBA
7 Aug 2008 20:00 LRC SC --, South Carolina
8 Aug 2008 20:00 LRC in ATL ATL
9 Aug 2008 20:00 LRC in ATL 2 ATL, Georgia
10 Aug 2008 20:00 Eddie’s Attic ATL, Georgia

For up to date information and to learn more about The Makepeace Brothers, try their MySpace site:

There are many more LRC videos on my YouTube channel

All that's left to say is a BIG THANK YOU to The Makepeace Brothers and to Nic!

Right, so who wants to play next?


Cookiemouse said...

Fantastic post. I've linked to it.

chalky said...

Thanks Cookiemouse

"Not Paul" said...

Thanks for the comment! I like these guys' video.

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