LIVE REVIEW: Bonobo @ O2 Academy, Newcastle (30.8.2018) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle’s O2 Academy is absolutely rammed to the rafters with a hip, young and pretty evenly split crowd for Bonobo (aka Simon Green) tonight – as we wait patiently yet eagerly for Green, some partake in libations, while others chatter away merrily.

Such is our anticipation that, as Green and his 12-piece collective take the stage to near-deafening cheers, the cavernous auditorium reverberates with a palpably kinetic wave of excitement that slowly yet steadily submerges all in its wake.

This being the last UK live show of what has been an acclaimed tour, the evening gets off to a celebratory start with the blissfully transcendental groover that is 7th Sevens – from then on, it’s an undeniably delectable deluge of decadent shape-shifting textures and innovative ambient flavours, set to what can only be described as an epilepsy-inducing light show.

Kong/Ketto’s cosmic boom bap bounce makes a very welcome appearance, as does the sublime alchemy of electro-tinged bass and frisky syncopation that is Kiara – not to mention the exuberant, hip-shaking Latin house polyrhythms of Bambro Koyo Ganda.

There’s also a chest rattling cover of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s The Other Side of Love, a jubilantly spicy rendition of Recurring/We Could Forever, and the crowd absolutely lose their shit over Cirrus’ noodling chords – but it’s the sweeping strings and bombastic horns of Ontario that absolutely brings the whole house tumbling down.

Like the big homie Jay-Z (that’s Mr. Carter to you) once said, grand openin’, grand closin’!

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