12th May | The Lantern
Touring in advance of their new Kewali EP, Flamingods return to the Colton Hall’s Lantern venue for their largest headline Bristol show to date.
Support act for the evening Yama Warashi come on stage to an audience of about ten people. Is this due to the gig being the same night as Can legend Damo Suzuki plays the city? Thankfully not as it seems to be due to confusion over start times. The room quickly fills up as the band play selections from their debut album Moon Egg. The music sang in Japanese mixes Eastern and Western styles with off kilter rhythms and a wonky pop sensibility. Yama Warashi use musical space well in order to emphasise the rhythmic quality of their music before breaking into some funky moments. They are the perfect warm up for Flamingods as Yama Warshi fuse global styles with ease just like the headliners.
After a short break, Flamingods take to the stage joined for this tour by Alex White on saxophone. White is the only person on stage who keeps to the same instrument throughout as the other four members swap instruments frequently between songs. The set features a myriad of differing global musical styles, although all the music played can be described as danceable and psychedelic. There are songs from all three Flamingods albums as well as a couple from the forthcoming EP resulting in a good mixture of the old and new.
A highlight of the gig comes with the more electronic ‘Gojira’ which features an almost jungle breakbeat with impressive speedy drumming from Sam Rowe. People are dancing already but the track’s ravey feel gets more people going. The track ‘Taishogoto’ follows preceded by an introduction to the Japanese harp which the song heavily features and takes it’s name. Tracks with electronic influences, japanese traditional harps and more conventional surf rock influences seamlessly go side by side always sounding like the work of the same band despite their diversity.
After frontman Kamal Rasool introduces the other band members, Flamingods play the final song of the night ‘Mountain Man’ which features Rasool jumping into the crowd for a celebratory dance with the audience. The crowd are kept happy and wanting more as this trick always helps engage those in attendance. There is a lack of encore due to the band apparently not having any more songs (despite having three albums and an EP’s worth of recorded material to choose from). Maybe playing more songs would have required the band to take too many instruments on tour or maybe they just did not expect anyone to want an encore.
For a brief time, Flamingods brought the party to the Lantern tonight and seem to have perfected a festival ready set in time for the summer. The band will be well worth catching live if you ever have the opportunity. Check out ‘Jungle Birds’ below.