Bedouin Soundclash – Koko, Camden

By Andy

Bedouin Soundclash frontman, Jay Malinowski steps back from the microphone as the Camden horde takes over vocal duties on ?When The Night Feels My Song?. It may be five or six years since the song did some serious chart damage but it still holds a special place in the hearts of many. Tonight?s set goes a long way to proving that the trio are no one-hit wonders though.

Having spent the past two weeks in the studio recording their sophomore album, tonight?s solitary support act, THE SKINTS [4/5] come out with a need to play live. A deep 45 minutes set ensues with a chunk of the songs played coming fresh out of the studio. True to the suited-and-booted band?s ever-evolving style, those established tracks that are lucky enough to get an airing (?Murderer?, ?Get Me?, and the likes) are delivered with a renewed vigour and a heady dose of tinkering. An album recital this is not. Another high quality outing for one of the UK?s finest.

With fourth album ?Light The Horizon? finally available in the UK, this short UK jaunt acts as a reintroduction to BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH [4/5]. The Toronto outfit jump-starts things with ?Mountain Top?, the album?s lead single, an up-tempo reggae-pop number that has immediate impact. From there we?re treated to a set that juggles songs from the enchanting new album with those lifted from the back catalogue. Notably, ?National Water? is excavated from 2001?s ?Root Fire?, introduced as a song that the band ripped off from the old band of new drummer, Sekou Lumumba. Lumumba proceeds with an epic drum solo that sees him depart the kit and exorcise a snare drum front and centre stage.


As the band stroll through the set, it?s impossible not to consider how effortless it all appears. Malinowski?s soulful voice reaches every set of ears, a superb accompaniment to the charmed mix of reggae, ska and world pop. ?12:59 Lullaby? comes over charming as the crowd takes on its vocals, earning a doffing of the cap from the band. It?s a long set but by the moment ?Stand By Me? segues into ?When The Night??, the surface barely feels touched. A medley of reggae classics ?Israelites? and ?54/46 (That?s My Number)? filters into an encore presentation of ?Rolling Stone? (new) and ?Nothing To Say? (old), a pairing that sums up the night; a catalogue spanning collection of passionate and exquisite tunes.