Live Review: Dubmarine, Kingfisha & Chocolate Strings

26 March 2013 | 11:59 am | Jann Angara

The band blasts through lengthy, fused versions of Depth Of Sound tracks as the two vocalists put on a theatrical show.

Freshly-reformed outfit Chocolate Strings set the vibe with their soulful and uplifting opening jam as the double percussion set holds the rhythm, calling out to the already swinging floor. Ofa Fanaika drops her guitar and takes the mic, adding her deep croon to Nia Felekakala's power vocals and Nikkie McWalters' raspy sweetness to Jill Scott's A Long Walk, and this perfect vocal blend carries the cover which they switch up to ragga. With thanks, the ladies walk off stage letting the boys jam out to end their set with a bang.

As the curtains open promptly, Anthony Forrest's untainted vocals linger above the bobbing heads. Kingfisha play steadily, staying pure to their placid sound for Looking Glass and enhancing the spell with a melodica solo for Let You Know. Vocal reverb and dub effects are extended as barefooted Drew Stephens moves from his guitar to the synthesiser. The upbeat riff of Digging For Fire has girls cheering and running up to the front, the floor snapping out of its trance and bouncing to the new single through to the double beat of Always Tomorrow. Dubmarine trombonist Mikael Strand joins the party, machining the rhythm for Enough which gets the loudest cheer of the night. And after sweating it out, it's cool down time again with Fallen Empire as Jason Leca leaves the keys to join Drew on the synths.

Dubmarine explode onto the stage both visually and in sound, as each member of the outfit brings their own individual game to proceedings. From Billie Weston dancing around in her rainbow-feather shouldered space dress while calling out to the audience; Mikael shaking his shoulders between breaths from his trombone; shirtless D-Kaz showing of his signature tribal art while jumping on stage boxes to hypnotise everyone with his vocal gymnastics; to bearded bassist Paul Watson keeping his cool while holding the rhythm and occasionally flipping his dreads out. Unconditional has the whole venue celebrating then stopping to catch a breath as they let the horns section of Point The Bone transcend. The bullhorn comes out as D-Kaz raps out to new single Beat In Control which has everyone's hands and drinks up, heads down and feet uncontrollably moving. Billie takes a moment to have a sip of tea, before picking up a dropped feather to hand it to a friend in the front row. The band blasts through lengthy, fused versions of Depth Of Sound tracks as the two vocalists put on a theatrical show, throwing invisible power balls to each other and out to the over stimulated crowd which has even the eldest of hippies taking shirts and shoes off to dance up a storm.