Live Review: The Black Seeds, Cheap Fakes

19 June 2012 | 4:08 pm | Cara Sayer Bourne

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People from all walks of life ventured out of the cold and into the warm arms of New Zealand's The Black Seeds tonight to experience their soulful mix of reggae-funk-soul-pop perfection.

Punters only just started to arrive when Cheap Fakes began warming up the crowd. The dapper gentlemen blended ska, funk and reggae into a sound that was so intoxicating and fun. Engulfed by the energy, the audience began the boogie that would continue for the rest of the night. Each member of the band was perfectly attuned to one another. The drummer had only been in the band for five weeks, but could have easily been mistaken for a founding member as he took control with perfect rhythm and impressive, well-executed solos. Cheap Fakes played off their playful sound with cheeky breaks to pose and perform brilliant solos that had the perfect amount of cheese and humour. Kudos must go to the trumpeter who at times simultaneously played the keyboard with such envious ease. Latecomers definitely missed out on something special.

The party truly began though when The Black Seeds took to the stage and the floor of the Metro became a sea of dancing, ranging from a casual boogie to bumping and grinding to shimmying to shuffling to moves that no one has had the courage to experiment with before. It was an incredible and flawless set that connected with the audience in such a unique way. Extended intros broke up the pace nicely with hints of rock and heavy beats, only to drop into their signature sensual and seductive sounds. With five albums to draw from, it was a well-crafted set, combining tracks from their latest album with their best hits. The relationship the band has with their fans is apparent as they actively conversed with the vocal crowd and even took requests. There were calls for an encore before The Black Seeds had even left the stage, which they responded to most obligingly with three more tracks. No one left the venue disappointed. When saxophones are involved, it is impossible to feel let down.