After eyeing up photos of musicians in the pub next door, we started moving into The Maze around nine. Along with apologies for a late start, I was handed an orange wrist band and pointed to the Henna stall in the left corner and the Jamaican food that was round the back.
The room was dark with psychedelic coloured lights and little tables that lay around with candles on top. Records were hung from the ceiling and behind the cluttered stage was a red velvet curtain that framed the area. Among the eclectic mix were drums, guitar, keyboard, microphones and saxophones. Everyone was chatting by now and settling into seats or leaning up against walls at the back.
Our night began with a soul collab from Chai and Ben Hibbert, who had never worked together before. Their sweet and smooth sound worked in perfect harmony. The whole evening was jam-packed with new collaborations accompanied by the house band Three Body Trio. The spontaneity of new people coming together created a ton of fresh sounds and a genuine feel of artists uniting to produce something very organic right before your eyes.
The theme generally focused on the area of jazz, soul, hip hop and rap which created a consistent and flowing but exciting vibe. All the artists including Chai and Ben, Kamar, Devante Vaughan, Onkaur and Emily Franklin bought their own feel to the night too and made a banging line-up. It was great to see the trippy house band jump into solos during Devante’s performance and show off their talents instead of blending into the background, especially considering the night was doubling up to be band member Pete’s birthday party.
People in the audience alternated between getting drinks from the bar, shoving their faces full of food from outside and taking in the music. Finally, when all the musicians had finished, the space broke into an after hours jam session where all kinds of artists were making new beats. The event ended late into the night and left everyone inspired to create themselves.
Vocab by Acoustickle was at The Maze on Friday 20 January 2017.