Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Salmonella Dub Review

Respect to Professor K for her review of the Salmonella Dub gig which took place at the Opera House on Saturday night.

Seeing Salmonella Dub perform the Dub Conspiracy concert was like the heady rush of alcohol. It was up-lifting and all-consuming at the time, but in memory the details become a little vague: there was the persistent textured jumble of liquid dub and reggae grooves morphing into hard and fast drum and bass, people flickered in the light show, time seemed to slow down and my heart rate sped up. Then, before I knew it, it was all over.

A slow-tapping sound, both moody and cavernous, marked the onset of the show shaking the Opera House walls. It was like a sudden transportation beyond those walls to a remote stretch of beach where you stood alone before liquid grooves rolled in and filled the space. This was followed by more resounding roots-reggae from their earlier successful albums including the sing-a-long ‘Love Your Ways’. Notably omitted were some of their earlier big hits including ‘For The Love Of It’.

Because this was a show built on rhythm rather than vocals, the roots-reggae became quickly replaced with the faster and more spirited drum and bass rhythms the Christchurch boys love to perform with so much style, energy and charisma. The slow, ballad beginnings morphing into pumped-up extended versions.

As a result the show became much more musical - the textured layers of instrumentation giving more depth and really highlighting the musicianship amongst the band. It was a shit-hot big live sound and the enormity of the music was humbling, their genre-mixing characteristic style had the crowd heaving.

Big shout out to the warped horns, which were fab, and to Tiki Taane’s animated style - was mint as always. Although the heavy use of pre-prepared lyrics was a bit disappointing – it would have been way cooler to hear the words breathed from Mr Taane’s mouth for a more live feel.

But I offer no further complaint. It was a damn fine way to spend 2 hours.


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