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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lack of Afro @ Hoochie Coochie – March 10.

(Review/photos courtesy of 137 Imaging - Victoria Ling*)
It was a funked up Friday inside the now proclaimed ‘church of soul’ by which I mean, Newcastle’s Hoochie Coochie as Lack of Afro - the full band - took to the stage.  Opening with Roderigo and the crowd being a little on the shy side, it was vocalist Elliott Cole that urged them closer so they were right by the stage and that is where they stayed for the rest of the night. Adam Gibbons, Lack of Afro himself, was up front going from bass to bongos to tambourine.  With these two frontmen, it was so hard to keep up with the energy that you actually just lost yourself amongst it. Then add a keyboardist, a drummer, a saxophonist and a trumpeter to this vibe and turn the volume up to another 10! Seriously, I am not sure what more you can ask for and this was just the start.
It was the penultimate night of Lack of Afro’s Hey Baby tour; the album was released towards the end of last year.  That album also features female singers such as Joss Stone and Juliette Ashby but neither were in town this night and Elliott Cole added his touch to Take You Home and All My Love respectively, which in turn brought the Hoochie Coochie house down.  Cole is mesmerizing. Not only taking to the guitar and giving us his fine soulful vocal talents but he more or less ad-libbed his way through the set when not talking or singing.  It’s been a while that a vocalist has taken me this way. I mentioned the word church earlier. Witnessing Cole’s performance was a state of euphoria.
Every member on that stage was grooving. There was not one audience member that sat down. Everybody was feeding off each other. It even made way for a few little additions of Stevie Wonder and the Jackson 5 in song.  If you had your eyes closed they actually could have been there. Other highlights included the band introductions and added solos.  Many a times this happens and the audience rightly reciprocates but with a Lack of Afro band the audience truly meant it and with added vigor.  If we could not thank Mr. Gibbons enough for giving us the Lack of Afro sound, he then goes above and beyond showcasing more of his multi-instrumentalist skills and jumps onto the saxophone and then a bit of double drumming with Harry Chestnut, who in turn takes up his place on the bass as Gibbons thrashes out those drums.  The crowd ‘loses it!’  It was definitely one of those gigs where the night could go on forever.  Unfortunately, it didn’t but we were treated to a great encore
Victoria L.
*See more photos of gig on Victoria Ling's Facebook page.

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