Goldfish settle into North County music scene

Goldfish settle into North County music scene
Dominic Peters, left, and David Poole return to Cape Town during the San Diego winter to perform a resident act called Submerged Sundays and enjoy the “awesomeness that is Cape Town during the summer,” Poole said. Courtesy Photo by Soundpix.

SOLANA BEACH — From Cape Town to Ibiza, New York to Amsterdam, the jazz-electronic fusion band Goldfish has found an international calling.

Yet while splitting a breakfast burrito at the Stratford Café in Del Mar, discussing their newfound love of Mexican food and sharing their favorite local surf spots, Goldfish’s David Poole and Dominic Peters seemed right at home.

The trained jazz musicians, who moved to North County from Cape Town, South Africa just over two years ago, will be bringing their unique blend of jazz instrumentals and contemporary dance beats to the Belly Up on Oct. 25.

Poole, 40, and Peters, 37, first met while studying jazz at the University of Cape Town — each playing and performing in various jazz bands.

“We used to play a lot of weddings and birthdays and stuff,” Peters recalled. “And then the DJ would take over at these kinds of events, and we were like, ‘we could do this!’”

Armed with a love for electronic music and their respective instruments — Peters on double bass, Poole on saxophone — the two produced their first album in 2005, “Caught in the Loop.”

From then on they were able to either “snag” or “wangle” one gig after another — at home and then abroad, said Peters. But the real breakthrough was opening for DJ Pete Tong at Café Mambo in Ibiza.

“It all kind of exploded out of that,” Peters said.

Since then, Goldfish has released five albums, and played concerts and festivals the world over. In the midst of their rising popularity, the two returned to Ibiza for seven consecutive summers, an experience Peters called “dance music university.”

Playing at the “suberclubs” in Ibiza allowed them to distill their style into “Goldfish code law,” said Poole. At that point, they started introducing more instruments to their live shows — with Poole playing flute and Peters on keyboard.

All the while, the duo continued to amass a large following at home, in Cape Town.

“There was a stage in Cape Town where you couldn’t go into a restaurant or coffee shop or bar without (Goldfish) being played,” Poole said. “We had no radio play, but we somehow captured the imagination of the people, and every single place was playing it.”

After years of becoming bona fide travel experts on tour, the two decided to settle down in Southern California, what Poole calls a “house music hotbed.” Although the surf fiends miss the waves in South Africa, they find time between production to sneak in sessions across North County. Their local concert schedule is a little less rigorous than it was in South Africa — though San Diegans might have seen them play at KAABOO Del Mar in 2015, or the Music Box and Bang Bang in the past year.

Goldfish is releasing a new song in the beginning of November, with a few more projects coming around the corner. Their most recent album, “Late Night People” (2017), is a little less downtempo, a little more energetic and pop — a quality Peters partly attributes to their improvement in production skill. Yet it still maintains the low-key, funky and innovative sounds of their early days.

“As far as the evolution of our sound, I feel like we’ve always kept our Goldfish DNA within the music,” Peters said. “From the first album to now, you can still hear it’s us.”

Goldfish will be playing at The Belly Up on Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. For more information visit: https://bellyup.com/all-shows/goldfish.

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