The Bodega Bar Nottingham 6th March 2015.
Here at music224.com, we like to think of ourselves as music lovers in general, we love a bit of everything, so long as it’s good music. Tonight, we were invited to watch an act that’s slightly off our current demographic, but we saw this as an opportunity to branch out into uncharted territory for us and the site. On a personal level, though, I was very much aware of tonight’s main act, The Qemists, as they are now classed as legendary producers who’ve been on a four year campaign for world domination, but they are now back touring the UK, the place they call home.
Before we get onto them though, we had three very unique support acts indeed. Sadly, due to an accident, traffic was more hellish than ever getting into Notts, so I missed the first of these supports, so apologies to Last Sons.
I did, however, manage to witness a very unique act indeed and they go by the name of Hey Zeus. This band consists of four members, sadly I can’t find anything about them on the tinterweb, but like they said tonight, they are a bit of an enigma – they ain’t sure when they’ll play their next gig, they don’t plan anything in advance, they don’t even practice or produce music, but what they do do is improvise on the night they play, which harps back to the classic blues days when a few talented musicians would get up on a stage and just jam. The same could be said about these guys, we had a synth machine user, a traditional drummer, a scratch master and an MC or vocalist who mostly spoke between tracks to help engage with the crowd. I’m pretty sure they stuck to a formula of sorts or it would have sounded terrible, but truth be told, they were actually quite good, almost inspirational! Sadly, I can’t tell you anymore than that, although I do know they come from Nottingham.
Next up were the tours main support act, The Algorithm, who hail from France and consist of only two members and they are Rémi Gallego – Mixing Engineering, guitarist and the occasional vocalist and Jean Ferry, live drums. Theoretically, you’d probably be forgiven for thinking this set up shouldn’t work, but the reality is, it does. I’m not ashamed to admit it but these guys had me intrigued from start to finish as they had everything thrown into tonight’s set, which can only be described as a complete journey into the world of sound. With a genre crushing set, we started with a little house, then went into a bit of reggae, then into drum and bass, then into techno, then it went off into something completely unique, a song dedicated to actor Will Smith. Speaking of fans, these guys have managed to accumulate a few along the way, 52, 423 of them in fact, well according to their Facebook page, so they must be doing something right!
If I was to criticize at all, which I don’t really like to do, I did feel something was missing tonight, maybe a third member could be included to give an extra fill sound, like a saxophone, or something equally as unique which may help to enhance their sound, but when all said and done, these two, I repeat these two guys were very entertaining.
As stated earlier, I’m well aware of who The Qemists are, I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’m a massive lover of all things Drum n Bass and these guys have produced some killer cuts in that genre since their amalgamation back in 2008-ish. You may be familiar with some of their biggest hits, ‘Renegade’, ‘Stompbox’, ‘Hurt Less’ (featuring Jenna G), ‘Take it Back’ (Featuring Enter Shikari) and my personal favourites, ‘Fading Halo’ and ‘Your Revolution?’
If anyone uses Spotify, there used to be a social music application within it called Soundrop, which I used regularly and made some great friends using the online chat feature. Anyway, listeners could add tracks into a playlist within a particular room or genre. For the purpose of this story, it was the Drum n Bass room (big shout out to the usual heads, you know who you are) other members would then vote up tracks they wanted to hear, so depending on popularity, you could hear similar tracks quite often, one such track, was Spor’s remix of ‘Stompbox’. In the year and a bit that I used this app, I don’t think that track ever really left the playlist! This just goes to show the popularity of the band, as members were from all over the world, so you could say these lads, originally from Brighton are a global hit!
The band have recently changed a vocalist and have now entrusted the role to Olly Simmons, whom I’ve encountered before when he was the front man for another band and in all honesty, I can’t think of anyone more suited to help front this band as he’s a fantastic vocalist and front man, with a great personality. With tonight’s show being a more intimate affair, I was able to converse with the whole band at various stages of tonight and the same can be said about the rest of the guys, Dan, Leon, Liam and Bruno, who are all very pleasant and down to earth individuals. It was a real pleasure to be given so much access, what a great and yet very talented bunch!
As for tonight’s performance, well, it was high energy from the offset and the crowd were up for it! Their set featured both old and new tracks, but to hear a total of four new tracks has wet my appetite for the release of their new album, which is expected some time this year. One track even features another great vocalist, Benji Webb, from the mighty Skindred – this track is a real banger, just wait for the drop! It’s well documented these guys love to collaborate with like minded artists, so it’s got me thinking who else they may have worked with on this new album (if any), only time will tell. What a fantastic night of live music, we loved it, please don’t miss these guys on this current tour as you’ll only kick yourself if you do, everyone we’ve spoken to says the same thing, which is great to hear! Thanks for signing my CD too, was very much appreciated!
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)