Cheshire and the Cat at Sounddhism - photo by Shaun Wootton
Unfortunately this particular reviewer was too busy drowning his sorrows after a disappointing FA Cup final to arrive at the gig on time and missed the opening two acts of Hemulen Soundz and Louis Scott. Don’t blame me, blame Liverpool Football Club.
New faces in town, Cheshire and The Cat have already established quite a following in Nottingham and, slightly obscurely, Malaysia too. The genre defining brand of hip/hop jazz is more chilled than a stoned penguin and probably about as entertaining too (that is a complement, think about it).
Jack Hickman’s slick rhymes proves that rappers don’t just rap about guns and whores. Spitting lyrical genius about anything from a cuppa tea to Wetherspoons with Omar aka The Cat showing off his voice with harmonies and skatmanning abilities. They open with Who Are You, a song about Omar’s stolen underpants and from then on The Bodega crowd are captured. The hardcore fan base singing along word for word and the newcomers transfixed as a group of lovely Uni of Nottingham girls edge their way to the front.
They then introduce a special guest on stage who goes by the name of El Sparrow. Donned in sunglasses and a cowboy hat (which will later be stolen by a random girl, sparking a search of the venue by El Sparrow and his amigos) the threesome kick into a glorious cover of Mas Que Nada. Suddenly we aren’t in a wet Nottingham anymore we are on a beach in brazil doing kick ups. Following this with an exquisite cover of Jamie T’s If You Got The Money, Cheshire and The Cat have The Bodega punters in the palm of their hand. As they close with Off The Ground which boasts Omar’s skatman impression the lads leave the stage grinning like a pair of…dare I say it? You can watch their Nusic Future Session.
Nubiyan Twist at Sounddhism - photo by Shaun Wootton
Ten minute break to replenish those alcohol levels and we are back on the dance floor. Nubiyan Twist hustle on to the stage and despite not knowing anything about this band I am excited. After several counts and re-counts I’m going to hazard a guess that there are eight of them crammed onto the snooker table sized stage. Multiple saxophones, trumpets, trombones and an afro-girl with a bucket loads of charisma, I’m in love with these guys already…and then they started playing.
Imagine Jurassic 5 meet The Skints and you are on the right tracks but there is even more to Nubiyan Twist than that. This band is a culmination of incredible things resulting in a sound even more incredible than can be put into words. Soulful female vocals with upbeat reggae and ambient dub vibes is an utter joy. Add to all this a spot of turntablism and a heavy brass band sound combined with jazzy hip hop and you have probably the most fun band in the world. After the sad passing of Beastie Boys legend MCA, The Bodega music lovers were treated to an outrageously good reggae cover of Fight For Your Right (To Party). The Sounddhism faithful is like an organic matter, thriving, skanking and bouncing throughout the entire set so much so that we refuse to let them leave, demanding encore after encore, the Nubiyan Twist duly oblige. You know what? Words are pointless…go and see them.
Russian maniac DJ Vadim keeps the party going to the early hours in the same mood with a heavily reggae/ hip hop styled set. If I was allowed to go out one night a month (which is looking increasingly likely due to my bank balance) I would pick Sounddhism every time. We salute you Mr Pickering!
If you missed out this time then get yourself down to the next Sounddhism on 2 June featuring Submotion Orchestra, Maribou State, Natalie Duncan and Noke Lick Masheen.
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