Snarky Puppy at Camden Roundhouse (Gig Review)

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I’ve only been to the Roundhouse in Camden before but it was for one of the finest gigs I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending so there’s short but good form. Plus, Noah Priddle has been in the vicinity very recently for a belter of a show from Flying Lotus. Nipsy and I are about to settle down to two hours of performance from one of the most jawdropping bands I’ve come across in recent years.

It was back in May that Nipsy had sat me down and handed me his laptop. ‘Watch this, ” he commanded so I dutifully did. Ten or so minutes later and I’d had my mind altered by the brilliance that is Snarky Puppy. Unfortunately they weren’t on the bill of any festival I had planned to go to and their gigs were all sold-out. Luckily they announced tonight’s date and we were determined not to miss out. In between then and now they have wowed crowds across the world and so unsurprisingly it’s another sell out at the Roundhouse.

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After a couple of cracking Camden ales from the bar downstairs we find our seats for the main show and take in the magnificence that is the Roundhouse auditorium with a squeezed and excited crowd creating a babble of noise. Shortly afterwards the band make their entrance with a dozen or so people on stage. The Snarky Puppy line up is a fluid thing but always held down by band leader and bass-weilding, jazz-faced mastermind Micheal League and tonight they have the most insane drummer you’re likely to see, this side of a Gene Krupa resurrection, in the shape of Larnell Lewis – the baddest dude on the planet according to League (he’s right).

The next two hours pass in the blink of an eye with some of the most ridiculous instrumental music washing over us and the other 3000 or so lucky souls, who lap it up in rapturous fashion. The whole band gets to showcase their skills with the finest moment possibly coming mid-set from Lewis along with percussionists Nate Werth and Marcelo Woloski, the later being one of SP’s group of regular guests as well as a member of the support band Banda Magda. The five minutes of incredible drum playing draws the biggest ovation of the night.

The band are also joined by local boy Jacob Collier on melodica for the encore which finishes with Shofukan which has the whole Roundhouse joining in the finale chant (and carrying it on football crowd-style as they exit!).

Jazz/funk/afro/latin/fusion madness awaits you if you delve into the world of Snarky Puppy and live, as always, is the best. These boys can play!

 

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