Midpoint musicians visit WNKU
Editors note: The story was updated to reflect drummer Brian Penick. He was not included in the original version.
Two up-and-coming bands, The Seedy Seeds and Bella Ruse, paid a visit to Northern Kentucky University on Sept. 21 and 22 to give the campus a free preview before heading up to Cincinnati for the 10th annual Midpoint Music Festival (MPMF).
Both bands performed in Cincinnati at the festival, which took place Sept. 22 through 24. They stopped by campus first, though, to play a handful of songs from noon to 12:30 p.m. in the Student Union Multipurpose Room.
WNKU hosted the mini-concerts, while DJ Gary Keegan announced the broadcasts. Between songs, Keegan sat down with the bands. He was interested in The Seedy Seeds’ eating habits — singer Margaret Darling and guitarist Mike Ingram are vegetarian — and Bella Ruse’s van, which runs on waste vegetable oil.
Based out of Cincinnati, The Seedy Seeds have been together for about six years. When asked about their sound, Darling says it’s “appalachian folk mixed with electro-dance beats.” The band released their fourth album “Verb Noun” in February. This year also marked the fourth performance at MPMF.
The Seedy Seeds played an energetic show Sept. 21 for an audience of nearly 50. The set consisted of about five songs, during which Darling and Ingram played various instruments including guitar, banjo, tambourine and accordion. Drummer Brian Penick added to the novelty, playing a drum set which lit up each time he hit it.
“The more things I can play in a single song the happier I am,” Darling said.
After the broadcast, the band stayed and played three more songs, two of which were requests from the audience.
“It was so cool,” said senior economic studies major Richa Ghevarghese. “It was like they were performing just for us.”
Ghevarghese’s friend Maria Hunter, a senior international studies major at NKU, enjoyed the show as well. She especially liked being a part of a live broadcast, which she said she has never done before.
Junior communication studies major Ian Miller stopped to check out the show between classes.
“The Seedy Seeds are a Cincinnati gem,” Miller said. “You can see them hold up next to other bands that are well known on the indie music scene.”
Like The Seedy Seeds, Kay Gillette and Joseph Barker — the duo who make up Bella Ruse — use multiple unlikely instruments to create an original and upbeat sound. Barker played a bass drum and guitar for most of the show, while Gillette performed vocals and switched off between a synthesizer, a kazoo, a toy piano and a typewriter.
Bella Ruse is influenced by the likes of Feist, and also by French jazz singers from the 1930s and ‘40s, according to Gillette. The French influence will prevail on the album the band is currently working on, which will feature original French songs, written by Gillette, Barker and friends of theirs. The album will include some “standards” as well, such as Edith Piaf‘s “La vie en rose.”
Their interest in other countries does not end at France, though. Gillette and Barker named their band after the Russian country Belarus.
“Neither of us have any affiliations with it,” Gillette said, “but it sounds pretty.”
The duo performed songs from their debut album, “Kuhzoo,” Sept. 22, to an audience of about 15 to 20. The show lasted from noon to 12:30 p.m., wrapping up the set with two extra songs after the broadcast ended.
Senior electronic media and broadcasting major Beth McMillen came to the show because her boyfriend helped film the event.
“I hadn’t heard them before,” McMillen said. “But I liked their uniqueness and quirkiness.”