What an event... This was more an indoor Brazilian contemporary music festival than it was a concert in the Usher Hall. The vibe was sweet with people moving all around... without any hassle or crush. I am grateful to the Soos for his kindness in hooking this up... It was great to hang with him... SSoosay.com... and the Dunc (all pictured) and be part of this event.
When we arrived Simon Hodge was on the decks playing some supersweet contemporary Brazilian and Latin tunage. Would consider checking him out again... I think he is local. Some capoiera dancers entertained us... busting some fine moves to the beats. Truly awesome!
First act on was the saviour of UK hip-hop :: Sway :: he got the crowd going with shout outs and a bizarre freestyle about the Usher Hall and a bra that some lassie threw at him... Funny! He is talented... and I managed to get an album sampler from him (Dunc got it signed to headphonaught which was way cool)
Sway then left and Instituto from Brazil came on... OMGoodness! These guys rock (well they samba as one of the rappers said but they rock!!!)
Their music is extra large... a wall of pure rhythm... with some sweet bass, rhodes and guitar... and a two pronged rap attack. The sonic impact was huge. They were very good - going to check them out when I can...
Sway came back on after a short set... and it was if they took things to eleven - Bam! three rappers... fat beats... wow!
After a short break with more beats from Simon Hodge and movement from the capoiera dancers, a supergroup of talent came on. Drumagik doing what they do behind some laptops (I think they were Macs but the guys had taped over the Apple signs)... Mark de Clive-Lowe on keyboards... Soweto Kinch on sax... Bembe Seque and Dynamite MC (no relation to Rebel MC or Young MC) on vocals.
It is important to get over the fact, here and now, that the Drumagik twins look like Mister Bean - they do! but they don't move like him.
The set had the feel of a big improv in the hands of the Drumagik chaps... which was, at times very good and at others a bit loose... It would have been good to have cut the talent loose... maybe some short sets from the main players, instead of this supergroup... I was disappointed not to hear more from Mark de Clive-Lowe, for example, he seemed a bit wasted in the mix.
When it worked however... it worked! Seeing Bembe Segue dance was tremendous - she can move!
All in... it could have been tighter... but the rhythm section did a tremendous job pulling in all the parts. Will check them all out too.
At this point it was over to Gilles Peterson to bridge the gap before Seu Jorge - I was actually disappointed at the low key way he DJ'd... I wasn't sure people got the fact that a music legend and global tastemaker was playing for them. He should have been in the centre of the stage... at least so I could have taken a better pic of him. He is the Don! His first set was flawless with old and new Brazilian music in the mix.
Seu Jorge then came to the stage with his band and ripped it up! He was amazing! I was expecting more acoustic work... and he did that later... but the opening assault was pure samba joy. Truly special.
He is a fab showman... and his band are the best of the best too. I wasn't familiar with the songs but I definately need to get his album. He was a different class.
He did some of the David Bowie tracks such as Ziggy on his own and the response he received was tremendous.
All in... he was the star of the show and deserved the top bill. I was glad to have been there and am extremely grateful to the Soos for making this happen. GP closed the show with more tunes... but this was 0130hrs and we were tired. Need to catch a GP set sometime.