Bedouin Soundclash

Some bands just scream summer and the sound of the Bedouin Soundclash is a perfect example. With their unique reggae-influenced indie sound this band has managed to capture a spot or two on many a summer playlist by discerning music lovers.

A three-piece hailing from Canada, the band consists of Jay Malinowski (vocals and guitar), Eon Sinclair (bass), and Sekou Lumumba (drums); and is perhaps best known for the 2005 single ‘When the Night Feels My Song’. With a combo of indie, reggae, alternative rock and ska all thrown into their musical melting pot, they are – to say the least – a pleasurable listen. Having been around since 2001, it’s not surprising that they are now touring to bring the sounds of album number four (_Light the Horizon_) to the gig-going masses. And so, at the conclusion of a warm, and conveniently less wet, day in late May, the band took to the stage at London’s KOKO to perform a melange of songs from their new album plus the sizzlingly upbeat hit songs from their back catalogue (whilst simultaneously ringing in the beginnings of English summertime).

Floor fillers like ‘St. Andrew’, ‘When the Night Feels My Song’, and ‘Shelter’ all got the crowd going, and the combination of the band’s keenness to impress and good-spirit made the gig perfectly satisfactory. An enthralled and grooving audience cheerfully accepted the introduction of new songs like the beautiful ballad ‘Elongo’ and album-opener ‘Mountain Top’.

The level of improvisation by the band during their set, particularly the antics of their skilful drummer, Sekou, who took a solo to new heights, culminating in the impaling of a small drum brought out by lead member, Jay, by a drumstick – possibly in sacrifice to the god of Awesome – was as amazing as it was hilarious to watch. The band truly felt in their element performing on stage and getting crowds moving, cheering, and laughing.

There was only one fault to be found with the gig: for a band whose music is pretty much the sound of summer – why did they choose an indoor venue? KOKO is a fine venue, built like a cross between an opera house and a dancehall, and yet the band just didn’t seem to totally fit. Every song was amazing but some key ingredient was missing – the ambience of the set would have been far greater had the band played outdoors to truly complement their sound. Better showcases of their music would have been a beach or a park – even a street party. Whilst the unpredictability of British weather is a crucial factor towards why most gigs are held indoors, it would have been a truly amazing Bedouin Soundclash gig if the band were to play at an outdoor venue. Failing that, the gig felt little more than a restrained beach party.


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