Band on the Wall
Bringing the carnival to Manchester on a grey, blustery evening, Nubiyan Twist lit up the stage at Band on The Wall, offering a set of sumptuous melodies, moody basslines and irresistible brass that got everybody shaking off any troubles or stress. The 12 piece band are based in Leeds and London, with front woman Nubiya Brandon who smashes standards vocally and performance wise. In a bright red dress and flower head dress, Brandon’s vocals and mc skills were laced with notes of Lauryn Hill and a deep soulful energy that provided an absolute feast for the ears.
Strong hits such as ‘Workhouse’, ‘Straight L’s’ and ‘Fig’ provided a step into a world of carnival, dancing and joy. The undercurrent of world music rhythms from Brazil to Nigeria, the mix of afro-beat, hiphop and carnival funk is fantastic.
After a short break, the band were back on with more tunes and a special Fela Kuti cover by the percussionist, leaving us all wishing they could just carry on. Teased with a combination of high-energy funk tracks and moody, dub rhythms akin with 1960s reggae, the band really do have a wide repertoire of talent.
Skilled beyond their youthful years, the individual talent of each musician was clear from delivered improvisations that were matured and deep. The saxophonists were spectacular, let alone the trumpet player, pianist, percussionist and bass player. Oh and the lead guitar and baritone sax!
Nubiyan Twist shone in Manchester, yet I can only imagine the effect of their music in an outdoor, festival locations – definitely one to watch out for this summer. The band are promoting their self-titled debut album and are certainly set for more carnival filled adventures.
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