They’re playing in my hometown of B-Town in a couple of days, but I thought I might as well check out this London show too as they’re one of my favourite live bands.
Support comes from Random Hand, who consist of bass, drums, guitar and a singer/trombonist. It’s loud, fast punky Ska, perfect as support but it’s the real thing I’m here to see.
Celebrating their 30th year of punky, ska fuelled Rock and Jazz moshpit madness, Fishbone have ploughed along doing what they do irrespective of the musical world around them. Like George Clinton’s Funkadelic, they’ve remained relevant simply by being like no one else around. They came up on the same circuit as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Primus and Living Color back in the 80’s and were there at the beginning of the Third Wave of Ska that saw American bands influenced by the UK’s own Two Tone movement. However, while bands like No Doubt who owe more than a passing nod to Two Tone and Fishbone went on to mega-stardom, Fishbone have remained a cult band doing what they love doing best. Their left field eclecticism won’t be to everyone’s taste but everyone I’ve ever introduced them to has become a fan.
So, enigmatic frontman Angelo Moore steps to the stage in his usual natty but unique attire and proceeds to leads the band through 90 minutes of non stop energy. It’s by no means his show alone though. The bedrock of the band is the drum and bass combo of John Steward and Norwood Fisher respectively, and this together with the welcome return of Walter Kibby III on vocals and cornet and lead guitarist Rocky George ensure the Fishbone sound is heavy and danceable and cuts across any musical genre you care to name.
Classic songs like “Unyielding Conditioning” and the party starter “Party At Ground Zero” still sound brilliant while “Bonin’ In The Bone Yard” wouldn’t be out of place at a Funkadelic show. The spoken word delivery of “Let Dem Hoes Fight” makes Angelo sound like a modern day Lightning Rod (check out Lightning Rod’s classic album “Hustler’s Convention” to see what I mean http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itzy_oKniZc ).
Their ska fuelled songs like “Ma And Pa” kept the crowd moving and of course Angelo’s acrobatic, obligatory crowd surfing almost made you believe a man can fly :-).
I’m always going to follow a band as unique as Fishbone. In terms of playing ability, they easily blow a lot of more successful bands off the stage and for sheer energy and entertainment value they’re unbeatable. There’s a documentary “Everyday Sunshine – The story of Fishbone” out now, narrated my Laurence Fishburne and featuring everyone from Gwen Stefani to Ice T to Les Claypool. Says all you need to know about this brilliant band, check out details of it here http://www.fishbonedocumentary.com/
And Angelo Moore’s art project celebrating Fishbone’s 30th anniversary, artwork as unique as the man himself.