Another gig as part of the Brighton Festival. The venue is an old church that is now used for live gigs and other functions and has pretty good acoustics as to be expected.

Vocal Explosion are led by composer and director Juliet Russell and comprise a choir of male and female members who combine their voices to sing songs mainly South African in origin but also with elements of Gregorian chant and Eastern European harmony. Uplifiting and catchy, they fill the venue with a joyful sound, obviously really into what they’re doing. An enthusiastic performance that goes down really well. Worth checking out if you ever get the chance.

I only saw them last month, as the 10 strong Kalakuta Millionaires are busy working the gigging circuit at the moment. They play their usual exuberant and funky Afrobeat set and quickly get the seated audience up and dancing. The four piece horn section sounded particularly good under the church roof and Siggi Mwasote’s enthusiastic vocal stylings soars over the powerhouse groove.

Conga player Cicely Taylor sings soulful back up, and the bands mish mash of funk, Latin and African grooves give a nod to James Brown, Fela Kuti and Willie Colon often in the space of one song! Vocal Explosion rejoin them on stage for a rousing encore and it’s the prefect way to end a great set.

Great to dance to and all about having fun, the Kalakuta Millionaires would be a good draw on the festival circuit. Get up and get down.


Last month’s gig review: