Jamie Lidell, Koko, London
Monday 05 May 2008
Jamie Lidell is used to being a soloist, by nature as well as by name. His performances once consisted simply of himself and his unique, symbiotic sound-desk set-up, which allowed him to layer his beat-boxing and remarkable soul vocal into complete tracks without the interference of anything so old-fashioned as a band.
But the sound of his new album, Jim – a mash-up of Motown and his own, more modern sensibilities – invites the participation of other players, so he's assembled a group of accomplished jazz musos from among his Berlin-based gang, and morphed himself from an avant-garde solo act into an assured frontman.
Among his accompanists is Andre Vida, a saxophonist who's played with freejazz pioneer Anthony Braxton, and Mocky, who wrote and produced Jim alongside Lidell, and contributes to the live show with plenty of shaking and banging of various bits of percussion.
At first Lidell seems bewildered by the crowd's attention, trotting humbly onstage in a fetching white suit. But when he starts to sing the album opener "Another Day", any trace of bashfulness dissipates. In a night of wondrous variety, he channels black vocalists from Ray Charles to Prince via Marvin Gaye. He dances like a kid who's drunk too much orange squash. It's thoroughly infectious.
The frantic "Out of my System" breaks down into a spot of invigorating, improvised looping. The rest of the band, left to their own devices as Lidell bonds with his laptop, dance joyfully to his tribal beats and breathy Michael Jackson vocals.
The dance break recalls Lidell's early work as one half of the electronica duo Super Collider, and he's obviously keen to show off the breadth of his talents, but it's his soul stylings that'll give him the best chance of chart success, and the band segue skilfully back into the mix for the jerky "A Little Bit More", followed by two gems from Jim, the brassy shoe-shuffler "Feel Good" and ballad "All I Wanna Do".
The concluding number is a souped-up version of Lidell's best known single "Multiply", from the album of the same name. That record was meant to be Lidell's commercial crossover, but somehow it ended up tucked away in the dance section of most music stores. Jim is a more straightforward proposition, and deserves to propel this adventurous artist into the mainstream.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Man to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia after ripping up a Koran and hitting it with his shoe
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Skrillex and Diplo's 24-hour DJ set shut down by police after 18 hours
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Drake matches The Beatles' record with 14 singles in top 100 chart at the same time
Aidan Turner interview: 'being a sex symbol is a little awkward'
Oscars 2015: Get a sneak peek inside this year's outrageous $125,000 goodie bags
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'