Sons of Kemet are a four piece from Britain that have been making waves over the last few years. They won the Best Jazz Act in 2013 at the MOBO awards, but many would not easily classify their sound as Jazz. The music they make has roots in Africa and the Caribbean. Their arrangement is equally unlikely with a saxophone player (Shabaka Hutchings) leading the band along with tuba (Theon Cross) and two drummers for a large and vigorous percussion sound.
Brass bands have gone through a renaissance in recent years, with the Hot 8 Brass Band seemingly spending months at a time in the Sugar Club. More recently the Booka Brass band have become regulars at Irish Festivals. While this band is quite different in style, Brass is at the centre of what they do. This night was something of a treat for those that know the band. The Sugar Club is one of the nicer venues in Dublin and felt just right, despite it being a Wednesday night. Once the band starts playing, it’s difficult to stay still, such is the bounce and groove of what they do.
The set featured songs from their most recent album Lest We Forget What We Came Here To Do and rarely slowed. There was also one of the best Tuba solos I’ve heard, despite the lack of competition for that award! The songs flowed quickly from one to the next, with only a few short breaks between the tunes. At the end of the evening, the band dispensed with the formalities of the encore and stayed on stage to play the final song of the evening, Play Mass. Four highly skilled musicians showing love for what they do, they left the stage just before eleven to a huge ovation.
Support on the night came in the form of local act, Insufficient Funs, who thankfully play better than they pun! They’re a two piece with Matthew Jacobson on Drums and Sam Comerford on bass saxophone. A short set that made an impression on the audience. As the compère on the night said, they were the right support act for a night of ‘reeds and drums’.