wed 08/12/2021

Black Pumas, O2 Institute, Birmingham review - bluesy grooves with high octane energy | reviews, news & interviews

Black Pumas, O2 Institute, Birmingham review - bluesy grooves with high octane energy

Black Pumas, O2 Institute, Birmingham review - bluesy grooves with high octane energy

Sweet, sultry soul from swiftly rising Austin duo

Having been founded only in 2017 by singer/songwriter Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, Black Pumas have been rapidly rising to fame, with a Grammy award nomination in 2020 and the majority of their current European tour dates sold out.

Though Tuesday’s Birmingham show, in Digbeth’s O2 Institute, was not among that number, the venue was still teaming with an eager and enthusiastic crowd. An impressive frontman, Burton displayed larger than life stage presence from the get go, oozing an infectious energy with punchy dance moves and full fat, no holds barred soulful vocals. 

Performing mainly material from their 2019 self-titled album, ‘Know You Better’ had an effortless groove, with backing singers Angela Miller and Laruen Cervantes both on occasion taking the spotlight, showing that they’re each an excellent soloist in their own right. “OCT 33”  had a deliciously sultry quality, with some exaggerated yet elegant effects going on in the guitars, before ending with a harder, more rocky feel. Ending their set with their single  “Colors” - which was also nominated in the 2020 Grammy’s as a stand alone track, for Record of the Year and Best American Roots Performance - the atmosphere was electric, with the whole crowd singing along as directed by Burton. 

Though Black Pumas is primarily a duo, their backing band’s also made up of some incredible musicians. Stephen Bidwell’s drum playing underpinned the rhythm with slick synchronicity, with Brendan Bond on Bass and JaRon Marshall on keys also splendidly colouring the music.  

Supporting was Pachyman, who brought his own original blend of stripped back Jamaican dancehall sounds. His music was interesting and his execution of it skillful, and had he been playing at a reggae or dub night he’d have been a highlight. As it was though, his primarily electronic based music, played by a sole performer, felt a somewhat odd fit, and just didn’t juxtapose well with the live energy of the main event. 








Burton displayed larger than life stage presence from the get go

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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