Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Tony Allen at Cargo (Nigerian Time Review)

In terms of the IVF argument (is it ethical for someone to give birth to a further eight children when they already have six hungry mouths to feed?) the answer should be "Hellyesss!" However with a clause that states in full, "only if the resulting mouths shall never go hungry due to their genetic disposition to suckling on brass (rather than/or in addition to nipples) having been fathered by Phil 'I laugh in the face of birth control' Cohran."

The reason I say this is because Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Tony Allen at Cargo was without question one of the top five gigs I have ever been to. As we hurried down Rivington Street (Black People Time not exclusively related to writing reviews or starting inauguration proceedings) a sousaphone was visible in the distance and the prospect of an impromptu busking session looking likely. Sadly, this did not occur, however another reason the Ensemble are regularly seen lurking outside their own gigs is to sell 'access all areas' wrist bands to unsuspecting music tourists, presumably to recoup expenditure on condoms and brass polish, so perhaps that's what they were doing.

The celebratory atmosphere was unbelievable, with trumpeter Hudah, resplendent in an Obama as superman t-shirt, playing next to the man hailed jointly responsible with the original 'Black President' for Afrobeat. As they kicked off with Sankofa (In Akan 'to go back and take') the significance of the joy and camaraderie on stage can not have been lost on any member of the audience (apart from perhaps, the dickmatized individual in front of me who spent the evening trying to retrieve the party bra she had thrown at the stage earlier on).

Even Ty seemed completely star struck as he stepped on the mic to rap over Baliky Bone, a strong performance which almost, but not quite made up for the consequent embarrassment of Damon Albarn and Natty. The former was soggy, moany and summed up everything people don't like about England (hence getting booed off stage-shame) the latter was the opposite; hyperactive to a terrifying degree, spinning around on the spot, dreadlocks and fizzy cola bottles flying, spouting spurious nonsense about bombs and prisons. They were both bad in their own special ways, however nothing could dampen the evening which was in essence, like a really good roast, when you've only had two potatoes but you're really sad that soon, there won't be any left.

Oh I forgot to mention, Baaba Maal was there too, looking unbelievably fresh in a sparkly silver dinner jacket. There is an ethereal beauty in his voice that compliments the horns perfectly, I realize I am gushing now but there was something almost other worldly about the music (and it wasn't the holy water-it was far too rammed to get to the bar). As one of the brothers once said in a Guardian interview, "You can read Revelations. You can read Genesis. You can read all the ancient texts - and they speak about how the angels played horns..."

Afterwards a few of us met Tony Allen and had a strange mixed reaction of curtsy's, bows and mumbled "hello uncle/hello oga." One of the Ensemble caught the whole thing and came over saying "Aw that's jus Tony, he my Nigga!" He was later seen inviting party bra to the 'after party' at the hotel, so everybody happy. This was the first really good night I have been to at Cargo in a while, reminiscent of my own personal back in the day (in the yard with a whole summer of hip hop and student loan to spend ahead). It's that time of year again (Dilla R.I.P) so hopefully, we'll be able to recapture the family atmosphere this Sunday.

2 comments:

  1. Is a Nigerian Time Review the same as GMT(Ghana Mean Time)? :)

    ReplyDelete

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