It has to be said I was quite excited about seeing Aloe Blacc at the Becks Festival Bar in Sydney this week… Almost a little too excited. Right from the outset, though, it was clear we wouldn’t be disappointed. Looking dapper in sixties style waistcoat, with a cheeky glimmer in his eye and smile on his face he burst onto stage and lit up the room. Instantly taking us back to sixties soul America.
Paying homage to the live Motown format many of his album tracks came through as medleys, showcasing the best of the best. Original sixties style soul blended with rhythm n’ blues and gospel through the night as he ran through his album and remixed classic tracks from Michael Jackson, Al Greene and even The Velvet Underground. Infectious grooves a killer band and his enthusiasm for authentic, honest and true story telling made it impossible to stand still. Jubilant hip shaking, feverish foot stomping and percussive hand claps left us exhausted but happy for more.
Not since Sharon Jones a few years back at the Sydney Festival Opening night has one gig brought so many of our friends, with such varied musical tastes together. The power of good soul music seems to break boundaries that no other genre of music can do… There’s something deeper and richer in that thought perhaps a middle class white guy could ever grasp. But to feel it, to allow it become part of your make up if only for a night is a magical thing, and with Aloe Blacc playing lead sorcerer more people must surely be able to feel it.
Highlight of the night was when he split the dance floor, opening up a channel through the middle ‘Soul Train’ style. Those at the back of the floor shimmied on down through to the front. It was a good crowd who were unafraid to bust some grooves and cut some shapes well into the night. He is a great singer who can mix his styles, hold a crowd and enjoy the moment. His moment is now, long may it continue.
The album is called ‘Good Thing’ and is out now. We’ve blitzed it on the show this week so get out there and purchase a copy today!