Time is a funny thing. Too far in one direction, a thing is lost to it, obscured by what came before it. Too much too soon, a thing gets lost in it, but where’s the sweet spot? The fine balance, like a knife with a full tang evenly weighted between handle and blade, is like an artist with great timing; they cut through the noise. It’s a razors edge.
Nubiyan Twist returned to London, after a two-year involuntary hiatus, last Friday to celebrate the release of their latest album, Freedom Fables, which came out in February. Blending the familiar sounds of jazz, hip-hop, afrobeat, latin, soul, reggae and dance music, this powerful and genre defying 10-piece (plus guest singer) will give you a run for your money. There is one catch though, so will the supporting acts with fewer members.
Py Jaen, a five-piece, and Colectiva, a nine-piece, equally blew the audience away for a whole two and a half hours before Nubiyan Twist, with their unique music, too much too soon. The bands, which both sounded like cover bands of the headliner, stole the impact the headliner would’ve had, had they been on sooner or, at the very least, had varying support acts. Speaking of, ‘it’s so good to be back after two years’ is the new ‘LONDON, HOW YA’LL DOING?!’, it’s getting old, fast. Switch it up. Introduce the band perhaps?
Sorry, listen, the band’s got ‘brass’ (literally three, seemingly identical, sax players on at the same time), their transitions are seamless and it’s a cohesive well-rehearsed troupe. On a less crowded night, with different support acts, and an audience that wasn’t so pissed up and overly shove-y by the time they took the stage, it would be a more than agreeable experience. I left after two songs. Oval Space is a great venue, Nubiyan Twist and their support acts are all great acts but in this case the timing was just off.