1 October 2006

Different musical experiences

I must say that I’ve been slightly vexed for missing two potentially fantastic South African Hip Hop gigs during past few months. Generally I would like to see Zubs and Proverb, the two artists in question, performing live wherever it could happen but that I had to miss them both on my home pitch. Proverb was performing in Helsinki this week and Zubs in August on a festival near capital. What makes both gigs particularly cool – or how could I tell because I was not there but at least potentially – is that they performed with live bands. I am sure that the ones who went were in for a treat and I am happy that these guys got up north to spread some love but the fact remains – I am still slightly gutted.

While I don’t really actively lose any night sleep over the missed cultural experiences I must say that I had some compensation when this Wednesday I saw Jurassic 5 performing live here in Birmingham. I have not been buying (or in any other way getting) their recent releases but they were good fun watching and the performance lasted for a good one hour forty-five minutes and the best part for me; I had a free ticket. I quite like free things and the fact that the tickets were almost £18 to begin with, I doubt that I would have invested that myself.

So some faith has been restored into the American Hip Hop music now. The next big thing is Public Enemy live gig in few weeks in Wolverhampton. If you did not know – I love Public Enemy. They are my favourite band of all the times of all the genres. I have tattooed their logo on my leg and when I see them live, like I have seen them before in Helsinki and in Dublin, I become like a teenage girl in Westlife concert. It is a bit sad but I suppose I have always lived my life quite strongly through some musical experiences; having that real life soundtrack on and that may have something to do with my behaviour.

My favourite thing about UK (and the list is very short) besides few friends and the fact that TV is always the first in the world with its documentaries is the music scene. I have been trying to get back on the track of things here and this time it has not really taken much effort because summer is so dominated by the festivals that not many big things have been released. Not the ones that would come all the way to Birmingham anyway or if it is local then no one will ever support it so I would not have heard about it. The truth here is that even in Cape Town local artist get much love from local or any media in comparison to Birmingham.

That goes to everyone except one artist – Soweto Kinch. He just released a new record Life In The Day Of B19, A (Tales Of The Tower Block). If you have not heard of him I am not going to explain much but recommend to check his resume and of course his music. It is jazz. A Lot of Hip Hop influences and rhyming happening there on the record but the in its full essence it is jazz and that is good. I think it is good because so much Hip Hop is influenced by jazz and many other things but this time it is the other way around. I like the record for many reasons; firstly it is good musically, secondly it is like a radio drama/jazz musical and thirdly, and maybe my frame of reference is too narrow, but for the first two reasons I have not heard anything like it before - and one more thing, it is based in Birmingham. I am very happy to hear something that is based in Birmingham – and that BBC programme about obese people did not count.

A Little Darker mixtape from Illastate Records (Akala and Ms Dynamite) is decent. A bit too aggressive at times although I really like aggressive music. Some of the lyrics made me a bit uncomfortable. Maybe I am just getting older and more conservative. Well at least older. Needs to be said that my favourite just now on this moment in the UK music thing is Lowkey. I sign out with his freestyle video – Peace and enough about the music now.

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