Last night Soul Rebels returned for their second event of the year, putting on another night of brilliant music. Alongside the incredible music, the great thing about Soul Rebels nights is that everyone is there because of their shared love of music. It was refreshing to not watch the gig through the phone screen of the person taking photos in front of you and the high energy dancing made me wish I had worn my steel cap toe Doc Martens.
Openers Flame Griller are a hip-hop trio of Yorkshire MCs who combined clever lyrics with funky samples. Next came Portmanteau, an up and coming horn heavy funk/soul/hip-hop collective from Leeds, who came onto the stage and immediately started as they meant to go on with funky instrumentals, effortlessly cool vocals and everything executed to perfection. One of their lyrics was ‘Let’s dance for an hour’ and with their infectious energy I think the audience could have been dancing all night. From start to finish their set was great, ending on a high note with a cover of ‘Lean On Me’.
Next up came headliners Renegade Brass Band. Described by Craig Charles as Britain’s answer to the Hot 8 Brass Band, they are an exciting 12-piece from Sheffield who combine raw brass with rap. With 8 horns, 2 percussionists, a scratch DJ and MC V3xation the hip-hop/funk collective are favourites at festivals like Secret Garden Party and Soundwave Croatia. For the whole of their set the audience was dancing and judging by the amount of sweaty backs and crowd-surfing, tracks like their cover of ‘March of the Dead Things’ by The Herbaliser went down a treat.
Soul Rebels nights always consist of high quality of music in an intimate setting and for this reason it will always be an important date in my calendar.