Review: Global Rhythms Easter Sunday with Romare (Live), Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra & more @ Electric Brixton (London, 27th March 2016)

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As part of a mammoth effort to bring the tropical vibes, Global Rhythms risked much by taking over Brixton all day and night. The marathon event kicked off with Global Rhythms hosting POP Brixton with a selection of cocktail bars, tasty treats and al fresco dancing. Unfortunately, the rain kept many people away.

The evening event was a club night, with live bands and DJs, staged at Electric Brixton. Recent opinion polls suggest that an increasing number of young people would rather stay at home than go clubbing. If you arrived at 11 o’clock (an hour after doors) this research would seem very accurate. Gone are the days when an already inebriated cue of ravers would be gurning in anticipation of the event, well before opening. A fact those of you familiar with The Fridge, previous incarnation of Electric Brixton, will know all too well.

Credit where credit’s due, you have to take your hats off the Global Rhythms for being brave enough to curate whole club night around world music. Typically, for these type of events however, the crowd looked like it was transplanted straight out of Shoreditch via Greenwich Village. As the Brazilian grooves filled the empty dance floor the smattering of people of colour propping up the bars was noticeable. Delightfully, someone must have pressed a button to activate the bass 11.30, which coincided with the club filling up steadily.

The site of one of the DJs checking his Facebook reflected to intensity of the tune selection and overall atmosphere in the main room all night. Saying that, everyone picked up as the live bands, starting with XOA kicked off. Impressively, XOA were playing their first gig to an audience of 1000 hungry worldbeat fans. One of the benefits of having Dele Sosimi as your mentor. Stone cold grooves enveloped enchanting vocals. The band was tight, but you could hear they were developing their song writing craft.

After another uninspiring DJ set, Dele Sosimi got the crowd energised. Bringing the strong energy and vibe he learned in his early days as Musical Director for Fela Kuti at The Shrine (Fela’s event space in Lagos, Nigeria). Sosimi knows how to rock a crowd as arms started swinging in the air on the now packed dance floor. I even bumped into an excitable Daniel Bedignfield (one-time garage and pop star) in the crowd who begun to chew my ears off about his potential work with Diplo and how thinks afrobeat is going to take over pop music.

DJ and producer Romare’s set was also a little one dimensional, save the live percussion and visual feast. For the party atmosphere and carefree fun, you had to visit the smaller Room 2, hosted by Sam & Toby, YAM Records and Container Records. There, you would find dancing with abandon and happy enthusiastic DJs giving people what they wanted. Serving up a selection of house, techno, disco and world beat.

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