1812 is a venue that is definitely not being used to the best of its potential, we’re hoping that’s going to change. This was our first taste of it’s sleak style, kicking cocktail menu and awesome atmosphere, we’ll definitely be going back for a second helping soon. We arrived early to get settled and check out the spot and made a b-line straight for the well stocked barback. Sarah who served us was happy to take the time to chat to us for a second about the cocktails on offer and what we might fancy. We worked through the menu but the Bourbon Smash and the Pear & Lavender Sour stand out in memory, the lavender infusion being blended on site for a really unique little drink.
With cocktails in hand we take a seat in the plush black leather lounge to the left of the stage. With records being spun by Dafu and DJ Cursa back to back the stage is set well for Lack Of Afro’s imminent arrival by a collection of classic hip hop, soul, funk and jazz with a break beat twist.
When the main man Adam Gibbons takes to the stage with the Lack Of Afro band it’s a warm welcome and the amassed crowd greet him by swiftly populating the dance floor and getting right into the groove. They kick off with ‘Roderigo’ a tasty little track that get’s everyone licking their lips for more. That is what is being served up, jams so fresh they’re still sticky and sweet. The band come together in perfect harmony creating a soundscape that is full and immersive whilst each making a contribution and stamp deploying their talent and skill. The vocalist puts in an incredible shift for a session musician deftly weaving together guitar licks alongside some incredible renditions of songs originally featuring artists such as Joss Stone, Emma Noble and Elliot Cole, not easy boots to fill by any stretch. To his left happy to let the spotlight shine elsewhere the crowd can spot the cheeky grin of Mr Gibbon’s laying down the bedrock bass for the band, throughout the set he is the driving force behind the music and even switches the bass for the drumset at one point highlighting the fact that the incredibly varied and soulful blend of music on display all jumps straight out of his possibly deranged, definitely delightful mind. This is genre blending at its finest and the set skips from song to song spanning an impressive discography and never missing a beat, well apart from when it’s deliberate like the slick stops in ‘Roderigo’ before the track comes bouncing back in. This is an outfit that is incredibly tight, promoting the release of latest album ‘Hello Baby’ tracks like ‘Take You Home’ soar and if you haven’t already you should definitely be grabbing a copy. This is music at its purest, it dances and wiggles around in your eardrum and flexes its muscles with tremendous skill creating a pure and perfect experience, evoking in the audience an irrepressible boogie and you can see the joy the band take from playing this shamanistic, genre defying voodoo music.
Definitely check out the Lack Of Afro website and see if you can catch them on the tail end of the tour or grab an LP. If you’re local check out the 1812 website and see what’s coming up in the near future.
Words by Matt Miles