When Unkle invited us warmly into ‘a world of pure imagination’ with the help of Gene Wilder, I was in there along with the rest of the crowd. We were taken visually into the galaxies and stars of the universe and the sound of Unkle’s diverse and eclectic mix of styles and collaborations that always work. The crowd enjoyed Ian Brown’s laconic vocals on Be There, along with Josh Homme on Restless a thumping psychedelic soul tune.
The music moved from intuitive ‘reaching for the lazers’ dance, back down into the beautiful murky, gothic, grimy and stellar tunes that followed. The crunchy guitar rock sounds and bass travelled along the floor and resonated within the sonically swelled chests of the Brixton crowd. The visuals again, inviting the mind into a sort of moving liquid Warshak test.
The Duke Spirit supported, and rocked the crowd with two guitars, a bass and drummer that did get wicked (sorry), and Leila Moss’ vocals are deep and perfect for the sound of this cracking rock band that paved the way for Unkle’s performance. Leila also sang on stage with Unkle later – her voice difficult to define somewhere between rock angel and Scandinavian saga.
Unkle pick up threads from so many areas of music and still maintain an Unkle persona, they collaborate with artists like Nick Cave and give the audience something so clear and generous in spirit that we appreciate the blending and disregard for boundaries. I was especially appreciative at the end of the set for a trip back into Psyence Fiction and Lonely Souls was well received by a crowd where many were clearly as fond of Unkle now as they ever were.
I wrote this review trying to get some free gig tickets on the Brixton Academy Facebook page and misread 300 as being 300 words, but actually it was 300 characters! So I have cut my entry on their page to a mere 300 characters and thought I shouldn't just leave the rest of my words hanging, so here they are as a full gig review.