It seemed only right to spend the night of Halloween at the aptly named venue The Haunt, for the highly anticipated release of Normanton Street’s latest EP entitled Much Respect. Boy was it a treat!
Opening the show was Brighton-based four piece band, WolfLung. This promised to be a fun and festive show, as pumpkins were used to replace member’s faces and the lead singer pranced around stage in just a short Greek tunic. The band delivered an iry, garage induced set combined with psychedelic beats, and the lead singer’s vocals resembled a young Brian Molko – the guyliner certainly helped! It was the track “Who Killed Cupid” that was the highlight of their performance; dark menacing repetitive guitar riffs contrasting with catchy melodies creating a great tune to dance to!
As the crowds began flocking in so did the creative costumes, from Beetlejuice to Marylin Monroe. This lot were looking for serious fun, which London band New Street Adventure duly delivered. The set was full of toe-tapping soulful melodies great for the summer, whilst also exploring bluesy rhythms and elements of Indie pop. The dance song “Big AC” echoed the band’s quirky style, a unique blend of 70s Disco and 90s Garage Rock; soothing tunes met with intense guitar solos.
Time For T were third on the bill, playing to a pumped-up, excitable crowd. This was the 6-piece’s first gig in Brighton for a while, so they made sure it would last long in the memory. It was truly a night of eclectic styles being thrown together. Songs such as “Phone Sex” and “Long Day Home”, contrasted Afro-Beats to up tempo dance country rhythms infused with soft steel drums to guitar thrashing riffs. It was really an exploration of so many different genres, elements of songs reminded me of chilled days surfing far out at sea, which suddenly transformed into an atmosphere of psychedelic rock festivities.
As Normanton Street, took their place on stage, the audience were hyped up and ready for a musical extravaganza. Yes, the predecessors all challenged music genre conventions, but nothing quite like the trio that is Normanton Street. Originally from Bradford and Bristol, Phoebe, Nicholson and Ned, brought the sensations of Soul, Jazz and Funk to the forefront whilst embellishing it with Hip-Hop and elements of Grime. It is a superb composition of delicate yet sultry jazz vocals from Phoebe combined with Ned and Nicholson’s spoken jams. This is particularly evident in tracks “New Dawn” and “Grass is Greener”, which juxtaposes soothing funk instrumentals with rhythmic spitting, creating something magical. It is clear a lot of thought has gone into the EP; it is intelligent poetry at is best, dealing with realism and mundanity of life, yet does so in a charismatic, flamboyant way; incorporating epic saxophone solos, deep subliminal bass lines and beautiful harmonies.
The band ended with “Fly Lady”, the lead track from the EP, another soulful delight that pays homage to classic jazz and blues rhythmics whilst embedding fresh urban hip hop into it. The Haunt was undoubtedly packed, no surprise as the set was full of self-indulgent pleasures allowing oneself to be lost in a poetic jazz trance. Normanton Street have created not only a New Wave of Jazz, but a new music style all together, which was evident in their stunning, energised performance. These guys are really on a jazz hip-hop crusade.