United Vibrations @ Jazz Refreshed, Mau Mau

WORDS: Sanjiv Ahluwalia

United Vibrations at Jazz Refreshed, Mau Mau; Thursday 5th August 2010

Four piece London collective, United Vibrations, created a riot of sound at Ladbroke Grove’s cosy Mau Mau bar, with one of the best gigs by a new band I have seen.

The friendly venue complete with a new, loud, clear system, was the perfect setting for the tour de force of different musical styles (punk, African, aboriginal, moody rock à la Radiohead) rooted under a jazz umbrella.

Despite some technical problems with the excellent Wayne Francis’s saxophone (dressed in a Dangermouse t-shirt, apt as the band dip into different styles akin to Mr Brian Burton) this was easily mitigated by the equally impressive skills of drummer Yussef Dayes and Ahmad Dayes on trombone, and the masterful Kareem Dayes on bass.

The band produce a hypnotic unique melange of sound; there is the rootiscal draw of ska guided by the trombone; the tribal chants of West Africa; rhythm of aboriginal music; celestial lyricism of Sun Ra; and importantly some expert blending of rock and jazz. The band do not like to be categorised, as is documented in their lyrics, but suffice to say there is a strong jazz presence, at times sounding akin to the band Polar Bear. They are immediately engaging, confident performers and throw the audience into a whirlwind of sound.

Special mention to drummer Yussef Dayes whose playing at times was dazzling, and as I was perched on a cushioned stool at the front, the tiny stage was a suitable frame for the power of his drumming (which at times caused the drums to take a walk).

United Vibrations musical mix encompass a reflection of our diverse capital city, and the band put any profits made from their music into a sustainable housing project (more details here). A worthy cause indeed, but you need no reason other than the wonderful dynamism and adrenaline rush of seeing this band. Highly recommended.

Sanjiv Ahluwalia

3 Comments

  • August 11, 2010

    Daniel Crosby

    The best group I’ve seen in this country since…ever. Unlike so much of the tosh that parades it self as: ground breaking, eclectic, new etc…We finally have a band that isn’t paraded as a being good, when it’s not, just for some trendy DJ to use them as a stepping stone to elevate their careers.

    United Vibrations are genuinely the most important band to come out of the UK since the big rock bands of the 60′s, 70′s and 80’s: Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Stones etc… and since the likes of Steve Williamson, Courtney Pine, Jamiroquai of 80′s and 90′s Jazz/funk fame; These are musicians that are regarded as world class, and are unique in the sense that their music, voices and charisma distinguish them from everyone else, especially the hoards of wealthy college musicians who use their money and privileged backgrounds to convince people that they have talent.

    United Vibrations are a shining light in the depths of a music void, and are an inspiration that will soon reach all the barren areas of British music and bring it back to life.

  • August 12, 2010

    Kareem

    Wow! cheers guys. These are two MEGA! complements. Many thanks, I’m glad you like what we’re doing. It means a lot to us to hear words of encouragement from our peers in the music community.

    PEACE

    P.S There’s more to come!

  • August 31, 2010

    rojo

    just caught this lot at shambala festival, without a doubt one of the best acts of all time. life enhancing shit

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