“Blow Your Headphones” from The Herbaliser was probably the seminal album from my Uni days; “The Blend” being one of the cleverest, funkiest hip hop sonds I’ve even heard. So, I was incredibly excited to see a full live band set by The Herbaliser at the newly refurbished Plan B in Brixton.
Apart from initial surprise that the band consisted exclusively of old white guys in suits (I suppose hardly surprising seeing they’ve been doing this for 15 years now), and sadness that no female MC was there, the set was pretty great. The old school funky hip hop sounded amazing live with the snazzy brass section and the DJ did some vinyl scratching that I haven’t heard for years. I wasn’t too thrilled with the new stuff – not that it wasn’t great in a Corduroy/Galliano/Fat Freddy’s Drop funk soul acid jazz reggae kind of way, but I missed the dirty bass and faster beats of the earlier hip hop. Ralph Lamb the trumpet player makes a very engaging front man.
It was the first time I’d been to the refurbished Plan B too – it’s much better now with an extended dance floor, DJ booths at eye level and an intimate atmosphere. Definitely worth a visit to up and coming events, which include Seb Chew and Smutlee, and on Friday 19 March 2010 the 10-piece band “Introducing” will play DJ Shadow’s entire album “Entroducing” from start to finish. Probably the most played album at student parties circa 1996, its undoubtedly going to be an incredibly nostalgic, funky night oot!