Camden Jazz Café
Friday December 12
WhoreCull was last here enjoying the retro-funk of Tru Thoughts’ Quantic Soul Orchestra. Ninja Tunes’ Herbaliser band have many similarities to Will Holland’s adventures back in time, a multi-piece live band taking on instrumental studio hip-hop for instance.
Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba’s foray into live funk, first heard on the album Something Wicked This Way Comes, is the more adventurous of the two. Though many of the guitar licks, brass stabs and rhythm breaks are as pure JBs as QSO, Teeba uses the decks as an extra instrument and there are more breakdowns, manic breaks and fresher riffs that seem to make concessions to our actual post-rave culture. The flutist would add those often annoying acid jazz licks, yet the alto and baritone sax solos echoed the free improvisation of artists like Ornette Coleman. Indeed alto sax Chris Bowden was the star of the show, if there are any NME journos out there looking for icons.
Having first been beguiled by their sound at Glastonbury 2001, despite being 50m away and at the time none the wiser as to who they were, to see them [in rather less pharmaceutical thrall] perform in a nitty-gritty gig venue and still rock the crowd was, indeed, something wicked.
Female UK rapper Wildflower appeared for the second encore. No need for rhyming en masse when the ‘instrumentals’ are so engaging. Brighton bad-boy DJ Format came on and played some hip-hop. With the bass welcomingly high up in the mix, the party carried on.
“You can’t put a price on enjoyment”, glib fuckers will tell you. “Come on mate, just have a drink and a laugh,” others will opine. Sorry, twenty sheets for an hour of live funk and optional hip-hop in a sweaty den is a disgrace. And if we are beginning to see the first signs of a grassroots revolt against the ridiculous prices for football matches (well my Dad’s trying to get something going), I see no reason why similar movements can’t be started in other entertainments. OK, these would be no attempts at system overthrow, but regulation of rip-off culture would at least show that the droogs are capable of basic activism.