The Modernists @ Transit Lounge, Metro Theatre, Fri 19th Set 2004

Posted by walking rek on Sep 20, 2004 in dancing rek, my ears are expensive |

I jumped at the chance to cover this gig. My gut intuition was whispering sweet promises of a close encounter with some serious groove. My prior experiences at the Metro, albeit mostly in the main room, had forged strong impressions of events soaked in super sound and awesome vibe. Expectations riding aloft after a gruesome week, this Friday night I was gonna cut loose and get high.

One thing is for certain: some things change, and others remain as stoically unblemished by the winds of time as a good pair of flares. I tell you what, this freekin no-smoking policy at the Metro may have some mild mannered supporters but let me ask you this: who goes to gigs to stand around picking ones nose and deliberating on the texture and flavor? I can only speak for myself but I go to gigs to savour the rewarding fusion of music, liquid and smoke: this was the first time that the harsh sting of anti-smoking legislation had backed me into a corner and I decidedly did not like it.

The first band we caught was Panda. Cute name, cute sound. They had this rootsy funk thing happening with a gospel thread that was almost infecticious had there been the sweet smell of cheeba in the air. Which there wasn�t. There was a lot of people lying around on the scattered poufs looking like they had partaken their fair share before they arrived, a thought that struck me as perhaps a little pre-meditated. I wish I had been fore- warned. Panda boasted some throaty vocals and sumptuous saxophone accompanied by a sassy steel guitar and ripe old funky beats. I thought they had a lot to offer and wish that I could have enjoyed their set without thinking up elaborate ways to sneak a drag on my dhurri. The venue too had plenty to smirk about: with the clever stage, pre-loved couches and tables upstairs, this space combined boho cabaret with serious sound reinforcement. Too bad about the long walk downstairs to indulge in a little inhalation�(this unfortunate detour did, on the other hand, present us with happy hour at Bar Ace next door with $2.50 spirits from 5-11pm.)

All funked up, we venture back to catch the Modernists. Holy smoke, these cats were on FIRE before they even started. The band began their set with an illegally fat instrumental � then, enter stage left� their lead singer, we�ll call him Kamahl, made his grand entrance by executing the maddest strut ever down the tiered stage to take his position with the other magnificent seven. Introducing themselves as purveyors of Funk Disco Soul, the Modernists made my heart leap: they were the real deal, the funk fantastique. Jamiroquai � watch ya back, these kids are the freekin bomb. With a solid repertoire of super dope originals, the Modernists played for over an hour to a stunned audience: the extended instrumentals allowed the immense talent of the band to shine through whilst the genuine ladies man lyrics were delivered in deep honey tones. The Modernists offered a generous mix of faster funk along with seductive slow numbers, never losing momentum or the audience adoration. Their stage presence was flawless, their musical talent unquestionable. I can�t wait to see them again in a smoke friendly venue. The Modernists have a new CD out soon.


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