“As the sun do shine/JBeez rock well”
“It’s a pleasure to be back in Cardiff,” says Afrika Baby Bam as the Jungle Brothers move through the thank yous at the end of their quick-fire 50 minute set.
The JBeez returned to the Welsh capital just two weeks short of a year from their last show in the city and a UK tour that seemingly convinced them of the enduring popularity of Hip Hop’s golden age this side of the Atlantic.
As a veteran act making such a quick return I had expected Bam, Mike G and Sammy B to make very little or no change to a set that rocked The Globe so well last September.
Once Sammy B got behind the decks the two MCs soon brushed past my right shoulder to step onto the small stage and straight into the classic ‘How Ya Want It We Got It’. Their presence and energy felt like a fresh breeze blowing away any lingering suspicions that the Thursday, September 10 show would be no more than an action replay of their previous visit.
The Jungle Brothers ran through a set to please the hip hop purists, celebrated their groundbreaking hip house record ‘I’ll House You’ and summed it all up with ‘Brain’ and its chorus “I got so much funky shit inside my brain/I couldn’t explain”.
Promoters Starving Artists deserve credit for bringing the JBeez back to Cardiff and, as ever, for supporting the Welsh hip hop scene. Starving Artists always find local support acts but cast their net a little further to bring north Wales based Mr Phormula to Clwb.Stood centre stage behind a small wooden table Phormula draws snippets from his mind bank of popular hip hop lyrics and hooks, makes the music with his mouth and loops it all through his sampler to create a wall of sound. He also throws in a few verses of his own, all interspersed with a little chat about how honoured he is to open for the Jungle Brothers and his train journey down from north Wales.
He should make that journey again and hopefully more heads than the early arrivals will have the chance to see and hear one of the most inventive and original hip hop acts I’ve seen from Wales.
I’m not dissin’ those who arrived late though. An early start, during the working week meant I only made it midway through Mr Phormula’s set and sadly didn’t get the chance to see opening act Faith Sonic. As last year DJ support came from Mansfield Green and Cardiff’s hip hop mainstay DJ Jaffa while host Oort Kuiper kept the show moving.
A quick return from the JBeez would be as welcome as the sun shine.