Quintet’s instruments do the talking


Trumpet player and songwriter Finn Scholes harked back to his childhood to hatch a name for his five-piece band.

The Carnivorous Plant Society was a club he attended as a child.

The name stands out, he reckons, and it gives a flavour of what the quirky quintet has to offer.

It isn’t just jazz, it’s a funky mix of music with a strong focus on instrumental solos and melodies with a Latin influence.

Finn’s brother Tam’s vibe is described as “swampy guitar” – and Tam’s girlfriend Siobhanne Thompson rocks the violin.

Completing the sound are Alistair Deverick on drums and Cass Mitchell on vocals and bass.

All are professional musicians and play in other bands up and down the country.

Finn tells Mountain Scene the sound is hard to pin down – all the musos bring something slightly different.

“I usually start with a piano melody, I write the songs. Then we get together with instruments and the songs develop.”

It’s a bit of a jam session, he says.

The shows don’t fit the typical singer-songwriter mould.

“Although there are some words it isn’t really about vocals. The girls do some la la la’s – mainly because we worried we would scare people off if there wasn’t some singing. But it is mainly about instruments.”

Instruments on show at this Sunday’s gig at The Sherwood are trumpet, violin, vibraphone, tuba, organ, guitar, synthesiser, drums and bass.

The gig will also have visual elements – Finn’s created cartoons to go with the set.

The sketches have been pulled together for a film to go alongside some of the music. This will add to the storytelling element of the set, Finn says, and draws the audience in.

This visual add-on might be explained by the fact Finn is a self-confessed sci-fi geek. He has read more Stephen King novels than he cares to remember and most of the musical influences come from movies, books or other songs – anything that tells a story.

Carnivorous Plant Society strives for each performance to be dramatic, innovative and, most importantly, fun.

Finn says the band is super-excited about the tour – and the chance to play Queenstown.

“The crowd can expect to have their minds blown. It is going to be an awesome gig.”

The band is working on album number two after releasing its self-titled debut album last year.

Carnivorous Plant Society plays The Sherwood, Sunday 8pm