February 8, 2010

V4YS Concert Review - Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards - The Relentless Garage, London, 06/02/10

Well, I wish every week could bring as much good live music as this one just did!

After the fantastic parisian concert from Lee Fields and Menahan Street Band last thursday, I offered myself a trip to London to attend Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards.
For those not familiar with Gilles (are they still any?), his Bbc One radio show, Worldwide, has been, for more than 10 years, a must-listen to for anyone wishing to discover music from a wide range of genre and origins.
Gilles' crew at Bbc One and his label Brownswood organize each February a concert to celebrate artists that released in the previous year great records that have been championned in the show.
This year the event took place at The Relentless Garage, in the cool Islington district of London. This place contains two rooms : a 400-500 people main room and a much smaller one upstairs. Each artist/band was supposed to play roughly half an hour, with Dj-sets in between each live act.

Because of the two stages and my lack of "ubiquity power" I could obviously not check everything, but here are a few impressions on what I saw :

- Floating Points Ensemble : Floating Points, aka Sam Sheperd, is not only a really young amazing deep-house producer (cf our 2009 favorites records review), he also is a talented musician able to compose and direct a 10+ orchestra for his second project called "Floating Points Ensemble".
A bit in the Cinematic Orchestra spirit, the orchestra and soul singer Fatima offered a set blending nu-jazz/soul with more classical vibes (violin, cello...). The result was a really deep, warm and soulful musical atmosphere.
I hope that a record release will eventually come out from this live project (like the great Bbc Maida Vale studio session they did last year? listen to the small medley of this Bbc session to give you an idea).

- Andreya Triana : Andreya presented an acoustic set supported by Fink on guitar and Bonobo on contrebass. I have to say I was totally stunned by this performance and I really regret to have missed her recent show in Paris.
Fink and Bonobo provided a great and simple "folkish" musical frame on which Andreya amazing nu-soul type of voice fitted perfectly. They played some tracks from her upcoming debut album due on Ninjatune later this year, and some tracks from her collaboration with Bonobo.
A magical moment!
You can check Andreya's Myspace page and listen to the fantastic unplugged version of her single "Lost Where I Belong" to get an idea of what I'm talking about!
Below the video from the album version of this song.


- Robert Glasper Trio : his last album "Double-booked" was voted best jazz album of the year by Gilles' crew. After a really funny award speach, Robert played with his talented young drummer and contrebass player.
I had the opportunity to see his trio last year for a classic jazz gig where he was playing piano. This time was different as his "weapon" was a Rhodes organ allowing him to deliver a pure groove set where each of these three incredible musician really let it go and improvised quite a bit. Absolutely brilliant! Here is his myspace page.


- Danay : I just had the time to listent to a couple of songs from Danay who was singing in the room upstairs. I mentionned her following the Havana Orchestra Gig last November in Paris, she is a really promessing cuban soul/hip-hop singer. This time she was not playing with the Havana Cultura band but with a 5-member band for a groovy hip-hop set. Once again I was impressed with her voice and refreshing spanish flow. Really hope she'll be releasing an album soon.
More info on her on Havana Cultura's website.

- Theophilus London : accompanied by hi Dj, Brooklyn-based hip-hop artist Theophilus London performed several tracks from his great 2009 album/mixtape "This Charming Mixtape" that you can download on his myspace page.
Blending soul, hip-hop, and electro, he proposes a refreshing futuristic beats sound. When performing live he adds his really funny "showman" attitude in a unique look half "newwave/pop", half "rap". Believe me it did not take him long to electrify the crowd.
Another surprising up-and-coming beats artist to follow in the months to come!

- Menahan Street Band & Lee Fields : I'll be quick as I already reviewed their astonishing concert last week. Saturday they offered a condensed version of their show and once again blew out the audience with their authentic SOUL.
They actually were the only band allowed to make an encore despite the evening tight schedule!

- Ghospoet : this was a discovery for me, and a nice one. Ghospoet is a British MC whose musical world lies at the frontier of hip-hop, dub and soul. During the live act I really appreciated his original flow, slow and almost haunting, that went really well with the dark and spacy vibes provided by a really good young drummer and an electric-guitarist.
Demos on his myspace page look a bit more experimental than the live performance I saw but are also very interesting.

That's it for me, hope it gave you a nice overview of this eclectic musical evening and that you'll want to know more on all these artists work!

And of course I want to thank Gilles and his team for regularly putting up great events, whether it is on Bbc one, live acts like the awards evening or their annual festival in Sète!

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