“Like Earth Wind and Fire/Never will retire”
TRUE to their word the Jungle Brothers are still touring more than 20 years on from hip hop’s golden age.
The Globe was still basking in that light on September 26 as the Jbeez were greeted by a circle admiring some of Cardiff’s regular breakers, who soon also had the attention of the Friday night headliners.
The feel good hip hop vibe was truly reborn once DJ Sammy B was behind the decks and Mike G, and then Afrika Baby Bam took to the stage and launched into some of their early classics – helped by the easy call and response of ‘the Jungle, the Brothers…’
The magic of a hip hop show is its simplicity, just the two turntables and microphones. The Jbeez ripped through their set while the vocal interaction between Mike G and Bam showed hip hop has harmony and subtlety as well as raw power – while the Jungle Brothers embrace sounds from from traditional soul and jazz sample based hip hop to house and drum and bass.
With so many songs recorded since 1988’s Straight Out The Jungle – and having recorded so many with fellow Native Tongues collaborators including De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, it’s hard to know how many the Jbeez fitted into their rapid fire set -and what they left out.
The room was bouncing as the JBs upped the tempo for their seminal ‘hip house’ record I’ll House You, with the show exploding rave style as the Brothers moved through their dance music crossovers.
With so many gigs at the Globe this year it can be tedious to constantly mention the intimacy of the 350 capacity venue where the crowd stand right up to the foot high stage.
Those at the front got soaked as Bam shook up his bottle of Stella, but what was really too close for comfort was when Mike G swiped the sweat from his partner’s bald head – and it hitting me in the face.
The Jungle Brothers had only been on stage for around an hour when they closed their live show and instead partied with the crowd.
“We’re going nowhere, we staying right here,” promised Mike G as legendary Cardiff hip hop DJ Jaffa came back on the decks to keep the concert hall block party moving while Mike, Bam and Sammy all stayed on or near the stage happily posing for photographs and chatting with fans.