Music review: Bonobo, The Roundhouse, London

4.00

 

Let’s face it, live electronica can often leave the audience rather nonplussed. The ability to be able to transfer perfectly produced masterpieces crafted in the studio to the stage can be something of a holy grail. But Bonobo’s gig at the Roundhouse tonight is an ideal blueprint for any other artists daring to make the leap to a live show.

Ninja Tune have taken over all of the hallowed halls of the Camden venue to host a launch party for new album The North Borders. Those who arrived here earlier got the chance to catch live sets from  label stablemates including The Invisible and new signing Machinedrum. And before the main act we are treated to some slickly mixed classic tracks, courtesy of Giles Peterson.

The show proper starts in a low key manner – despite the protestations to “make some mother***ing  noise” (really? For a Bonobo gig?). Bonobo (or Simon Green to his family and friends)  together with a fellow keyboard player and a drummer slip onstage almost apologetically. But as soon as the opening bars of one of the standout tracks and first single off the album Cirrus resonate around the building the audience are rapt. This sets the tone for the evening – guest musicians stepping up to sprinkle their own expertise as each track builds layer upon layer.

Green takes centre stage throughout, alternating between keyboards, bass and seemingly beating out rhythms on various synth pads. The stage is bathed in rich reds and purples while behind the band a strobing screen of white lines pulses to the beats. The only other concession to a live ‘show’ is a slightly incongruous 15ft long remote control Zeppelin camera which slowly circles the venue. It’s slightly Spinal Tap-esque but is swiftly forgotten as it’s the music that (rightfully) takes centre stage tonight.

The setlist largely weaves in tracks from the new release and outstanding previous album Black Sands. Highlights for me include a thunderous, pulsing version of "Kiara", and opening track of the new album First Fires featuring live trombone, sax, trumpet and sumptuous strings –the shimmering, heartstring-pulling tune almost had grown hipsters weeping into their plastic pintpots. And not even a fire alarm could dampen the evening with just a handful of tracks to go.

The crowd took it in good spirits – indeed it was almost like an interval to allow us to reflect of the set so far. When we eventually file back inside the full band treats us to a few more gems including a memorable version of El Toro led by the sax player and drummer. On this evidence expect to hear a lot more of Mr Green and co.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week