Chris and Mike Dench with their late mother, Norma
Love for good souls
New fifty-one song compilation reunites for one of UK’s most beloved musical families
Sep 28, 2021
If you’ve been to a concert or festival in the UK or Europe in the past two decades, chances are you’ve met one or both of the Dench brothers, aka the Goodsouls. Their insatiable commitment to live music and especially supporting new bands, especially on the psych rock and experimental stages, really has no limits.
The two London-based brothers, Chris and Mike, would often perform at a midweek gig hundreds of miles from their home, with a spreadsheet in hand detailing where they would be in the weeks to come, defending countless artists from top to bottom the earth. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when in 2012 they decided to form their own live music promotion company, Good souls Promotions. Together with the brothers’ mother Norma Dench, who sadly passed away in September 2018, Chris and Mike put on around 160 shows in London, Brighton, Leeds and Nottingham, among others, while also putting on a stage at the Kingston International Youth Festival.
Goodsouls by name and Good Souls by nature, their enthusiasm, generosity and support touched everyone who met them in such a positive way. So it came like a thunderclap when Mike Dench announcement via social networks on weekends that Chris had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had only a few weeks to live.
Thus, in a few days, the project Love For good souls took shape. Originally the idea of the French musician and artist François Sky, who decided to contact as many musicians as he could to put together a compilation album in honor of the family. Within days, a range of artists from around the world submitted music tracks – some unreleased – with a currently impressive fifty-one songs.
François takes up the story.
“As soon as I heard about Chris’s condition, I wanted to generate a wave of love and support for these guys, who long before I can tell, have done so much in terms of musical commitments. for a large number of people, artists and groups.
I found myself speechless when Norma passed away three years ago and again while reading Chris’s story. So, as I’m interested in finding solutions, my pragmatic side inspired me to do the following: Songs and good intentions mean more than words I don’t have, so let’s use these vectors to express feelings to these good music lovers from Dench, alias the Goodsouls.
Compilation contributors so far include A Place To Bury Strangers, The Underground Youth, New Candys, Helicon, David J Haskins (Bauhaus), Cult Of Dom Keller, Chatham Rise and Julee Cruise among a host of others from the world musical underground.
“I prefer to keep certain things to myself because I don’t want to explain everything,” François continues. “But I can say that I have unconditional love for them and their mom, late Norma. I remember them sleeping in armchairs in their very house to give a bed to certain groups (including myself), so for me they literally mean Goodsouls.
The compilation can be uploaded to Bandcamp for a minimum donation of 7 euros (which works out to around £ 6 in UK pounds sterling or $ 8 in the US), while applications are still open for any artist wishing to contribute to a cause that is truly worth it. .