REVIEW: Slamboree, The Ritz, Manchester

Slamboree on stage at The Ritz in Manchester
Slamboree on stage at The Ritz in Manchester
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Big beats, fire spinning, zombies in skimpy pyjamas, a man in a pig mask and bold as brass riffs combined to create an explosively hot and heavy show in Manchester as Slamboree returned north.

Led by New York born, Morecambe raised producer and “song baker” Mike Freear, the band had its devoted legion of fans captivated from the off with a spellbinding new set at the impressive, and packed out, art deco Ritz venue in Whitworth Street.

Gracing the stage at many of the UK’s underground festivals over the last few years, the troupe’s Manchester show was part of a three date tour which also sees them take in London on October 30 and Bristol on November 5.

Logistically it’s a big operation, with upwards of 15 individuals taking on different performance parts in a seemless blend of live electronic music, gypsy styles, drum and bass, dubstep, balkan and a good old hit of 90s rave.

MC and rapper Kathika Rabbit’s spitfire vocals, a sharp and funky brass section, drums, a violin that defied the regular definition of a fiddle, and a weird looking sphere being manipulated by Mike Freear all combined for a hugely danceable sound.

They’ve got imagination by the record bucket load, a colourful and immersive experience that you can’t turn away from.

Imagine a mash up of The Basement Jaxx and The Rocky Horror Picture Show performing at The Moulin Rouge and you’re half way there.

Slamboree pulled off the gig with style, panache and professionalism.

Their energy and compassion for eachother and their audience produces that much needed slice of celebration so often absent in modern living.

Choreography wise there was always a new spectacle to behold, as new imaginings developed onstage in sync with the music.

It was a quick punch of an hour, but one that packed a huge amount in.

Support on the night came from Captain Hotknives, Too Many Ts, Drum Machine and The Age of Glass.

Special mention to hip-hop/funk (and the rest) trio Too Many Ts too, whose combined voices slithered and snaked around in a fresh new take on the rap genre, with plently of charisma.

Extremely impressed by the freestyle rap over the eight bar changing mash up of well known songs, too.

Drum Machine also were excellent at revving up the crowd as they performed on the (sprung) floor with a battering ram of drum beats.

This tour will hopefully be a defining moment for Slamboree, as they prepare to release their debut album which will have a lot to live up to in terms of their live sound.

They’re easily capable of taking this creation to a world audience (if they can find a bus big enough).

Earth has become a better place purely by Slamboree being on it. Go and catch them if you can.