If this ordinary Wednesday evening proved anything to me, it’s that a little indulgence goes a long way during the long winter months. Especially if you’re indulging in the catchiest rocksteady and reggae this side of Kings Norton.
With their own blend of skank worthy ska, infusing brass with catchy pop melodies, Tempting Rosie [8/10] proved to be a charming live act. These Birmingham boys have hit the ground running on their return to B-Town following a university hiatus: gigging, staging a reggae night (‘Pressure Drop’) and putting the finishing touches to an album due early this year.
This hard work has certainly paid off. Each energetic song compelled the initially static audience to groove to the sounds of beats, brass and the smooth vocals of frontman Matt Doyle. He was supported by the enigmatic ‘MCing’ of Tijhs Jordan, notably on the summer sing-a-long ‘By My Side’ – the stand out tune of the evening. If Tempting Rosie are able to produce this level of entertainment value on a dreary January Wednesday evening, then Summer 2014 bodes well for these ska popsters. Be sure to catch Tempting Rosie at the O2 Academy Birmingham on 9th March, where they have the honour of supporting The Beat.
Next up, The Delegators [7/10], playing retro rocksteady and ‘early’ reggae. The band is based around lead vocalist Janet Kumah, who had the audience in her hands with her indefatigable energy and charisma – not to mention colossal, soulful voice. Her performance was mesmeric; a master class in audience interaction and fronting a band.
Though the rest of the Delegators are undoubtedly capable musicians, they seemed lost during her mid-set break, and it was a relief to see Ms Kumah dance her way back onto the stage, as the audience’s reaction to her return demonstrated. Each motown-esque rocksteady tune then quickly followed the last, and kept the eager audience dancing through until the final song. For those new to The Delegators, see the immediately catchy ‘I didn’t mean to break your heart’ – a song typical of this band’s joyful, upbeat style.
By Jamie Hughes
@RuffneckReggae – Every Wednesday at 8pm on BurnFM