Tuesday, 23 July 2013

the day of a band and a boat in Bristol....

When it comes to music, I know what I like, and there's so many bands and artists whose work I love to watch or listen to. That's across most genres  - with the exception of garage and cheesy pop. I hate both ... oh and ABBA. I really abhor ABBA...always have and always will.

But there's one band I've been adoring for a number of years...The Black Seeds .I've mentioned them on the blog before, here  http://thinkingofthedays.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/summer-sundae-days.html

and they're from New Zealand. Last year I managed to see them play live , and made a promise to myself that I would definitely see them again somehow.
But when I interviewed lead vocalist Barnaby Weir last year,he didn't think that they would be back in Europe this year.

Well I'm pleased to say he was wrong...and that's why I found myself hotfooting down the M5 for a quick 300 mile trip to see them. On a boat in Bristol. And I'm so pleased I did...because although I enjoyed their festival appearance...it was like foreplay. Seeing them in a hot,crowded room, at night ,giving their all, was the main event.....

What a magical , hot July evening....sipping a few ice cold beers on the top deck of the Thekla with Frankie, managing to catch the last few rays of the sun, admiring the views as we did so...

Even the ladies loo had a porthole view....

And then, down into the bowels of the boat, to a surprisingly large room for the Black Seeds...

So why do I like this band so much?

Well, the Black Seeds know what it's like to engage an audience.  Infectiously catchy reggae, funk and soul rhythms get the party start right from  "Sometimes Enough." There's an energy, a synergy about the band members too - vocals from Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman are so strong, whether singing solo or together.

Add some incredibly good guitar work, the nattiest drums and percussion, the sound is already so full, but when the sax and trumpet come in...I'm in heaven.

I'm not the only one. This is a band you can't stand still and watch....from the opening numbers, bottoms in the audience are twitching in time to the music. By "So true" an all time favourite of mine, people are dancing where they stand...unable to take their eyes off the band.

There's such a good atmosphere....Barnaby chatting in between songs....all eighteen of them. You can't say you don't get good value at a Black Seeds gig.....the set lasts very nearly two hours. Yet the band still leave us wanting more....and as people stream off the boat....the newbies who haven't them live before are vowing to return when the Black Seeds come back to Europe.

That's good news says Daniel....it makes their three week pilgrimage here worthwhile.  With eight hungry mouths of band members and their families to feed, the trip has to pay its way. There are cds and tickets to sell...a fan base to be built....and good times to be had, with the lads on tour and away from day jobs baking, gardening, and lots more besides.

Next year, why don't you join the party? Make it your new Year resolution to come and see a Black Seeds gig...a far pleasurable option than losing weight, giving up drinking or something even more unpleasant.

You'll be so glad you did...Frankie certainly did, even though she played it cool after the show...as Daniel nicked my trusty old Marantz. Luckily, I'd already done the interview.....

In the meantime, I leave you with this - a lovely version of  "Cool me down" from the Black Seeds playing at Lowlands Festival last year....



  1. Sounds like you had a great time,a gig on a boat sounds interesting.I've never heard of them before but they do sound good,maybe they should hire you for their PR,lol.

  2. I've watched a jazz board play on board a boat before, but not been to a venue like the Thekla. Loved it...and yes, I do love the band!