The Manchester-based, four-piece that is Good Habits certainly proved that orchestral instruments really can be cool, as they played their very well-received gig at Goodstock, on the 28th September.
Good Habits describe themselves as an instrumental indie folk band — a necessary mouthful considering their eclectic sound. The band’s principle instruments are viola, cello, bass guitar, and cajón (to you and I that’s a slappable wooden box, a task that Good Habits did with jaw-dropping energy).
Opening their set with a few of their slower-paced, relaxed tunes like ‘Waiting for a Ride’, the audience was quickly mesmerised by the vocals of Bonnie Schwarz; the closest comparison of which would be Lily Allen or Kate Nash. These songs produced a gentle sway in the audience, the type of which you find whilst fully immersed in sheer appreciation, myself included.
This tranquillity, however, did not last too long with Schwarz jokingly promising that the band would play some happier, more uplifting songs. This followed a song about justifying an affair, which alarmingly was so good it almost had me second-guessing my position on such. It should be mentioned, given Schwarz’s insistence onstage, that she doesn’t actually approve of such infidelity.
The second half of their set electrified the crowd, as they played one of their better-known tracks, ‘Small Person’. They then proceeded to take requests cheered from the audience including ‘Pumped up Kicks’; this truly stunned me as I watched viola player, Lydia Taylor, strum the instrument as if she was rocking out some epic guitar solo. This was definitely the highlight of the gig, as the whole audience sang and grooved along to Foster The People’s iconic track. Even a La Roux cover made an appearance — ‘Bulletproof’ — which garnered a similar reaction from fans.
Good Habits put on an impressive, interactive show, especially for a band who are in their early days; they have only just released their first EP, Patient World, on Spotify and iTunes. As if seeing this side to the likes of the cello wasn’t enough, the band even threw a harp into the mix mid-set as guest musician, Alice Roberts, joined them onstage. All this ought to leave audiences eager to hear more of what this unique quartet can do. I, for one, am looking forward to it and you should be too.
Stay tuned with the band’s Facebook and Instagram for news of future gigs.
Photo: Virginia Saul.