Live Review: Koi Child, Mathas, Snow/Rugg

22 August 2016 | 3:45 pm | Scott Aitken

"'We're still warming up,' quipped Shannon Cruz Patterson."

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Local hip-hop six-piece Koi Child were back in town for a special sold-out show at Mojos as part of their Touch 'Em tour, playing alongside a great group of local artists.

Making their debut performance as an opener were Snow/Rugg, who performed a loose mix of hip hop, funk and jazz with a four-song set full of largely instrumental jams. The set was punctuated by lead singer Tayo Snowball's Hendrix-style guitar playing (including playing it with his teeth) and tight, groove-laden jams by the band. With a few more gigs under their belt, this band promises some very interesting things in the future.

The dulcet tones of Earth, Wind & Fire sounded out of the PA before the three members of Mathas' backing band made their way to the stage. The MC came out shortly afterwards to sit down and mime the telephone conversation of King Ponce using his stage props. The song opened with a sleazy-sounding New Orleans sample and a solid, driving beat that captured the attention of those in the room immediately. The MC said a few words about the importance of the venue, telling the crowd, "We've all played in this place for years, so this like home base". He then beckoned the audience closer as the band launched into the epic Interplanetary Relations before new track Bravo Troll. Both tracks got a stellar reception from the crowd before the band charged through White Sugar as Mathas made his way into the audience to rap in the faces of the energised crowd.

As the stage went dark for Koi Child, the sounds of Spice Girls' Wannabe blared over the loudspeaker. The band members made their way on stage to kick things off with a slow, stirring version of Grease, with heavy blasts of horns and electric piano chords. They then went straight into a super-tight version of Touch 'Em with a roaring sax solo from Christian Ruggiero. "We're still warming up," quipped Shannon Cruz Patterson, before the band started into Cruzy P and an electrifying version of 1-5-9. They even managed to find time during the hour-long set to drop a jazz-tinged version of Prodigy's Breathe before the R&B swing of Japes

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The band walked off stage for a short moment before returning to perform an improvised jam as a finale, with duelling verses and fantastic playing from the whole band - capping off a perfect hometown show.