Hailing from New York City, Jungle Brothers is Mike G, Afrika Baby Bam, and DJ Sammy B.
They were the first hip hop group that pioneered the fusion of Jazz, Hip-Hop and House music, choosing to use a House music producer in order to gain their legendary sound.
The group began performing in the mid-1980s and released its first album, Straight Out The Jungle, in July 1988.
So from New York City to the slightly less 'gangsta' streets of Totnes in the sleepy shire of Devon, the trio exchanged their usual hangouts (Madison Square Garden, Empire State Building and Times Square) with the best that Totnes had to offer (The Royal Seven Stars, Morrisons and The Cat Cafe) in order to please the crowd that had ventured out on a Sunday evening to witness this once in a lifetime experience. Let's get inside the club and see how things went down.....
New York based Joe Driscoll was up first, he used recorded loops of his own beat-boxing and live looping using a sampler to fuse hip-hop,reggae, soul & folk music. He has toured previously with the likes of Coldcut and The Sugar Hill Gang and has appeared at some of the best UK festivals such as Bestival, Big Chill and Glastonbury, he was no stranger to warming the crowd up for the JBeez tonight....
MC Index and DJ Fingerfood took to the stage and whipped the crowd into a frenzy, people were soon waving their arms in the ay-et, like they just didn't ca-yer.....classic stuff that you would expect at a gig of this calibre to get the crowd warmed up.
The stage was prepared and the JBeez appeared, bursting straight into their set with Down With the JBeez. They performed classics from the early days (Straight Out The Jungle, Cause I Got it Like That, Beeds on a String), mixing them with more modern cuts (Jungle Brother, JBeez Comin' Through) that added a fresh, exciting edge that kept the crowd on their toes throughout.
After a brief break, the trio returned to the stage and dropped the classic track I'll House You which took the roof off the venue and made damned sure that everyone was up and moving, the bass booming and the rhythmic beats pounding into your psyche. This was followed by Jungle Brother culminating with the awesome crowd pleaser Brain.
To see them play in such an intimate environment such as the South Devon Arts Centre was a real treat, they kept the crowd entertained throughout and certainly knew how to engage with everyone. If you closed your eyes, you were transported back to 1980's NYC where the trio would have been rockin' the joint in a similar fashion to how they were tonight....nearly 30 years on!
The JBeez are currently midway through their 16 date UK tour (back to back dates folks...), if you get the chance to see them live, get down and support them, you can guarantee a great night of classic Hip Hop beats, rhymes and style that will remind you that these guys are still on top of the Hip Hop world..
Highlights for us, well, I guess seeing them locally in the town of Totnes had to be up there, hearing them play was amazing, they were absolutely faultless in their delivery and the crowd let them know just how much they appreciated their work.
It maybe a while until Totnes sees a Hip Hop act of this calibre again, in the meantime, we'll remember this as the perfect antidote to a cool, foggy evening at the end of September....
Jungle Brothers 4 Life........
Down with the Jbeez
Straight Out The Jungle
Cause I Got it Like That
Beeds on a String
Yes Yes Yall
Jbeez Comin Thru
Never Have to Worry
On The Run
Beyond This World
What you Waiting For
I'll House You
Drum and Bass Breaks
Wayno Beat Outro
Review by 'DJ' Sarah Farquharson & 'MC' Alison Muscutt