March 20, 2010

V4YS Concert Review - Gizelle Smith & The Mighty Mocambos (La Bellevilloise, Paris, 19/03/10)

I recently reviewed the first album of Hamburg-based The Mighty Mocambos & Uk singer Gizelle Smith. Yesterday I attended their first concert in France at the cool alternative parisian venue "La Bellevilloise".

With 6 musicians (1 drummer, 1 bass, 2 guitars, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone), 2 chorists and Gizelle Smith, the small stage was almost full and the ingredients for a great funky moment were set.
I don't know what it's like for you but as far as I'm concerned quite often my favorite part in an afrobeat/funk/soul live performance is the intro. The type of "Intro" I prefer? well I love seeing the musicians entering one after the other into the first tune (like a starting bassline, then the drums come in, followed by a guitar phrase to end up with the horns). When the rythm gets hot enough this is time for the singer to enter the stage and bring the last missing piece.
This is exactly what The Mocambos did last night and after 10minutes I knew the show was gonna be good. Their 5-to-7mn-long groovy instrumental was awesome and when the gorgeous Gizelle Smith joined them on stage the show was already on a solid path.

The band is quite young but demonstrates an impressive maturity, several solos from the first guitarist (Sebastian) were truly outstanding, so were the trumpet player moments. If the album has a clear "nu-funk" sound, I had the impression that the live act was more halfway between funk and groove, which I particularly enjoyed.

Obviously I also have to talk to you about the main lady here.
Gizelle Smith delighted us with her voice that is so warm and soulful. She clearly has more than one string to her bow : she can sing classic heavy funk like on the album, but also seems to really enjoy smoother, more "nu-soul" type of stuff.
On her live performance itself she may still lack a little bit of stage presence but she has so much charm and that easily makes up for it!
So overall that was a great moment of groove&nu-funk music. The crew is touring for several weeks, not to be missed if they visit your area! All their dates on their myspace page.
P.S. : merci Vincent pour les photos!

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