Fragments of warm, melodic soul spilled out onto the street as we approached the bright large “WB” sign of Notting Hill’s Westbank Gallery. Its generous gig space, neatly tucked away on the top floor of its Westway flyover home, instantly drew a steadily growing crowd towards it’s rear dance area courtesy of an onslaught of high quality selections from beatsmith Eric Lau. The backdrop was set.
Dego and his 2000black family band eventually made it on stage and, unlike many other a London gig, there was no inexplicable gap between them and the crowd; accordingly we made sure we had a front row view. It took just one bar to be played from the opening track ‘Start A New‘ and the mood was set. The band were tight as you like and effortlessly executed the signature swing and metronomic swagger so overwhelmingly magnetic in Dego’s produced work. Once the track ended, the already good vibes in the room had multiplied tenfold, setting the order of things to come.
‘It Don’t Get No Better‘ followed swiftly and had the crowd jubilantly joining in with the track’s top-line as we boogied to the cross-pollinated afrobeat rhythms within soul vocals and jazz melodies. Other standouts in the hour or so came in the forms of ‘Black is Key‘ and ‘Acting Up‘ from Dego and Kaidi’s EPs on Eglo Records. From the ludicrously wide ranging and immaculately controlled vocals from the band’s frontwoman to the smallest of trills from Mr Mensah on keys, it was a display of the utmost detail and command from Dego and the band which left nothing to be desired. This quite frankly peerless act, are an absolute must-see.
Catch Dego at the Eglo Bank Holiday Special at Corsica Studios (29th May), alongside Steve Spacek, Kaidi Tatham and Sassy J.