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12th December 2014

Live: Sinkane

Cordelia Milward is in awe as Sinkane refuse to fit into any groove.

19th November

Deaf Institute


To try and collate everything great about Sinkane is a seemingly impossible challenge. However the band managed to compact the four corners of the world into an hour long set, so 300 words will have to suffice for me. In spite of the obligatory smurf-like beanie hats adorned by three-quarters of the band, everything about Sinkane is inconsistent. Whilst this sounds like an almighty criticism, it is their refusal to be confined to a single sound that is exactly what makes them so incongruous and fascinating.

Blasting out mainly tracks off the album Mean Love, dropped earlier this year, they don’t dawdle in getting the audience grooving. ‘New Name’ is super funky, with the magic coming out of front man Ahmed Gallab’s guitar similar to that of a sax. Having remained strangely silent throughout the opening number (perhaps in awe of Gallab’s wizardry), the co-guitarist leaps into the most self-indulgent guitar solo with his shoulder length hair flying. With no warning, Sinkane’s jazz seamlessly slides into psychedelia, and it’s entirely natural. Yet just as the audience adjusts their dancing to compliment this new sound, Sinkane have cast away another genre, creating their own space reggae with ‘Galley Boys’.

There are moments where Gallab’s falsetto is delicious, reaching inexplicable peaks, but never to the extent that it becomes at all overbearing. Ending with the single ‘How We Be’, Gallab somehow manages to lace electro synth pop with Led Zeppelin style shreds, and it actually works. Having collaborated with almost everyone under the sun (Caribou and Yeasayer to name a couple), Sinkane is an amalgamation of everything pleasant. He doesn’t defy genre, since each song can be clearly located within a single style, but its the very disparity between songs, that demonstrates Ahmed Gallab’s winning exploration.

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