NU_Launch

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Fitness Assessment


Respect to DJ Art Official for his review of the Roots Manuva gig which took place recently in Auckland.

ROOTS MANUVA and friends: 21.Sept.05 @ Studio, Auckland.

Indeed a much anticipated event for reggae, dancehall and hip-hop heads was the return of Rodney Smith to Auckland for 2 shows last month. With support sets from Stinky Jim and Auckland hip-hop duo Frontline, we checked in to the ram-jam session alongside an excited crowd at Studio on K. Road.

Wasting no time at all Mr Manuva and his band sparked this one up with ‘Bashment Boogie’ and then continued to blaze things up with live takes of his remarkable and ever expansive recorded material. A pleasant surprise was the appearance of Ricky Ranking, whose impressive reggae singing and MCing talent fitted in just perfect alongside the man that everyone had come to check out.

The vocal duo tore through some big numbers such as Movements, Dreamy Days, Toothbrush, Awfully Deep, Witness the Fitness, and Too Cold, before returning to the stage again with Clockwork, which certainly was a highlight of their brief encore set. Ricky Ranking even performed his own tune, the soulful and thunderous ‘Cant Trick I’ (on Roots Manuva’s ‘Banana Klan’ label), which went down a treat for the many reggae heads in the crowd.

The 5 piece live backing band seemed perhaps a little tired, but certainly didn’t lack any firepower in their tight and polished delivery. Consisting of bass, drums, guitar, and a keyboard player who was probably the busiest on stage (handling duties on flute, background vocals, and FX), they effortlessly took on a variety of musical styles/rhythms and were obviously well experienced in the art of rocking dancehalls. DJ MK was no disappointment either, nice on the cuts like ginsu.

Overall, an awesome show at a packed out venue, though I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to see a full-scale Roots Manuva show at a bigger venue. Lets hope he hits Welli next time.

Bong-diddly-ding-ding-A.

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