On pop: G Love and Special Sauce

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Indy Lifestyle Online
In today's pick 'n' mix culture, style hybrids can come across like a messy casserole made of too many leftovers. The disparate elements in G Love and Special Sauce (right), though, hang together like the ingredients of a successful souffle. This Boston trio's dark and dreamy concoction of jazz, blues, rock and lazy hip-hop melts all over you. Guitar, drums and string bass, with dashes of harmonica, it replaces the standard-issue pastiche of snarls and samples with chord structures and old-fashioned musicianship.

It's rap music for people who aren't really keen on rap, though aficionados will be seduced too. In fact, you'd have to have ears of corrugated iron not to like it. G Love, the singer, guitarist and harmonica player, describes the mixture as 'Ragmop'. They've been likened to the laid-back Beck and described even as a rap Tom Waits for the slacker generation. In fact, you can almost imagine it having been made 25 years ago, if the Last Poets and Jimmy Page had bumped into each other in the coolest of jazz clubs, got stoned and then done a turn with the house band.

The band plays five dates over the next few days, including two tomorrow, touting 'Cold Beverage', the forthcoming single from their eponymous first album on Okeh Records. To my mind, the delicious 'This Ain't Living' would have been a better choice, all six-and-a-half minutes of it, with its Sly Stones-ish vocals and languid elegance. See them, and buy the LP - sublime sounds for a sensuous summer.

Upstairs at Garage (071-607 1818), Sat at The Borderline 8.30pm (071-734 2095) and the Marquee Cafe 11pm (071-287 3346), Sun at the Zap Club, Brighton (0273 821588)

(Photograph omitted)

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