thu 25/07/2024

Thundercat, The Halls, Wolverhampton review - jazz-funk bassist lets loose | reviews, news & interviews

Thundercat, The Halls, Wolverhampton review - jazz-funk bassist lets loose

Thundercat, The Halls, Wolverhampton review - jazz-funk bassist lets loose

Funk, anime and prog jazz in the West Midlands

The cat without the hatMasanori Naruse

Thundercat is known for his love of having a good old noodle on his six-stringed bass guitar – and there was plenty of that going on at the Halls in Wolverhampton on Easter Sunday. But this was far from the whole story of his show that threw in sci-fi funk, prog jazz and hip-swinging soul music to a performance that was dedicated to Anime master Akira Toriyama.

Thundercat (or Stephen Bruner to his mum) was once the bass man for hardcore punks Suicidal Tendencies and while his show didn’t reach out that far, it was certainly one that didn’t just hit one button. Similarly, his audience was a diverse crowd with a rainbow of ages, colours and fashions on show – with plenty of those present looking for an opportunity to get down and shake their bits. And that was something that they got in spades.

Coming onto a stage that was dominated by a huge backdrop of the Thundercat of Cartoon World and a thick fog of dry ice, illuminated with red stage lights, Bruner and his two sidesmen hit the ground running with a super-funky “Lost in Space”. Keys man Dennis Hamm was soon laying down tinkling atmospheric washes behind the mad tempo changes of Justin Brown’s enormous drum kit – which would even have had Mötley Crue’s Tommy Lee feeling lost among the sheer volume of skins and cymbals – while the Main Man stood centre stage with the broadest grin and his fingers moving around his fretboard in a blur.

Some of his lines may have been somewhat lacking, with “Overseas” particularly staying in the shallow water with such couplets as “Girl you’re so fine / You really blow my mind”, but it wasn’t to admire Thundercat’s lyrical dexterity that Wolverhampton had come out. It was the groove of “Thousand Knives”, “Tokyo”, “Funny Thing” and plenty of “new shit” that had those present grinding and bouncing along. Even if “Tron Song” with its three simultaneous solos that didn’t seem to be linked in any way, gave the crowd the opportunity to have a breather.

There was more than just music coming off the stage and Thundercat had plenty to say between songs, and in the case of “Tokyo”, during it. This included tales of his first trip to Japan, hanging out with Motown songwriter Leon Ware and a good laugh at what Jake Paul may have lined up for himself when he goes into the ring with Mike Tyson in July. However, it was the final strait of “Heartbreaks + Setbacks”, “Funny Thing” and “Them Changes” that sent the audience off into the night with smiles almost as big as Thundercat’s. And so, as the notes faded and with a simple “Thank you, guys”, the trio of funkateers left the stage without an encore but leaving the crowd more than happy.

The trio of funkateers left the stage without an encore but leaving the crowd more than happy


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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