First up we were treated to the insane lyricist that is Samantics. He is a rapper/poet from Devon, mixing Ukulele’s, various instruments with a loop-station. This incredible artist performed like a seasoned pro. His lyrics resonate deeply and his awkward yet approachable nature draws you in deep to his performance. Lyrics leave you emotional whilst the layering of insane sounds have your body moving. His onstage banter was interesting, choosing to discuss everything from mental health to coffee drinkers. After the show he happily chatted with fans after the show and signed CD’s.
Samantics is one to watch in 2017, I can see big things happening for this guy and it would not surprise me to see him on the festival circuit soon. Keep an eye out for his up and coming performances via his website here and have a listen to his tracks via Bandcamp here.
Next we were treated to Malavita, a 7 piece band, serving up original latin-reggae-funk music, oven ready for the dancefloor. This band created such a magical sound, and slowly the crowd started to warm up. There was so much to look at, the bongo player come percussionist really caught my gaze. He looked thoroughly happy to be performing and well into his rhythm. The female lead delivered effortless vocals and the young female trumpet player really drew you in.
You can keep an eye on their tour dates, released music and news via their website here.
Billy Rowan, aka The Undercover Hippy, is definitely not your regular singer songwriter. His music fuses acoustic guitar, vocals, reggae rhythms, and the lyrical delivery of an accomplished emcee. Billy spent 7 years on the Drum & Bass circuit, before swapping decks for a guitar in 2007 and starting out on a solo career. On this night, Billy was joined by Dre on keyboard, Theo on drums, Zac on bass and their sound engineer was Med.
The Undercover Hippy performed some tracks from their new album ‘Truth & Fiction’ which is out on May 20th this year. Upholding his reputation as an energetic live performer, Billy did not disappoint. He manages to fuse reggae rhythms with hip hop and folk to create a truly unique sound. As the country gets ready for the next General Election, you can be sure to receive motivation from the lyrics which are mixed with some political drive, The Undercover Hippy’s lyrics become critically important to today’s society where humour and facts are mixed, his lyrics become melodic and draw you in, leaving you considering your political and social issues.
With Dre’s cheeky smile and fast finger work on the keyboard exciting the crowd, the cool and calm collected manner of Zac on bass and Theo smashing out some exciting beats, The Undercover Hippy created an energetic and lively gig, with the audience interacting and joining in throughout. These guys are on tour now, so if they're coming to your area, do all you can to catch them playing live, you will not regret it.
You can have a listen to their new single, Rise & Fall here.
Review by Joanne Martin
Photography by Graham Perowne