it's the fans that make or break bands

Snarky Puppy – Scala, London

9.0 10 Awesome

‘Exceedingly Brilliant, Jaw Dropping, Blissful’.

 It can only be the Puppy’s! 

The last time I saw Snarky Puppy live was Friday 2nd May 2014, yes, 5 days prior to this time. Why? Because they are exceedingly brilliant.

After reading that, understandably you might consider not continuing to read this, but I’m sure you’re all keen to know why I have made a point of seeing them so often and making them sound like they are absolutely outstanding composers, performers and artists, right?

It’s a busy, warm evening across the road from Kings Cross Station London. Everyone is waiting in line to get into Scala, only to look across the road and see Michael League, the front man and bassist for the band, giving us a cheery smile and wave as he makes his way to a pasta takeaway restaurant. Having met these guys before, I can tell you, they are the most down to earth, talented and budding musicians I have ever met, and that says a lot considering  am studying a music degree. These guys will have a drink with you and let you in on some secrets as to how they create such magic. Now lets compare that to Courtney Love who walked out of a show in Leeds last friday, signed a couple of tickets, told people not to take pictures of her, then stormed off into her tour bus saying ‘I’m too fucking tired, I am going to bed’. Yeah, Snarky Puppy DO deserve more attention than they get.

There was no support act upon entry to the venue, however it is compensated by the jaw dropping 2 hour long set in which they presented blissfully. It didn’t take the audience two minutes to break into dance when the Puppies’ dropped their Brazilian, Tangoish style tune to open with. As time went on and the band gradually dropped into their mellow, laid back vibes, the  audience died down and didn’t seem so engaged. On the other hand, I could look at some members of the audience and I could tell who were musicians and who were not as the musicians were pulling their unattractive ‘bass faces’ to Mr League’s super impressive bass solo’s. Musicians seem to understand what they don’t understand when it comes to Snarky Puppy. By that I mean, they understand just how complicated and technically challenging what they do is, but they do not understand how they do it, as it is so freaking good!

This all changed however, when the grammy award winning band kick out their new tunes to the audience from the latest album ‘We Like It Here’ with charts suchas ‘Shofukan’ and ‘What About Me’ where ‘Sput’, the drummer, never fails to impress the audience with his time-lapsing drum fills. Of course, ‘Thing Of Gold’ was played, where almost a sense of magic lifted from the audience as they all sug the melody, soon to be blown away by  the face melting key’s solo.

Snarky Puppy are without a doubt, one of the most talented up coming artists of our time at the moment, and if you’re into Jazz, Funk, Rock, Blues or even slight trance, the Puppy’s have something in store for you!

Review by George Gill, Leeds College of Music, May 2014.


About Author

BA Music (Jazz) student at Leeds College of Music majoring in alto saxophone. Also soprano, tenor, baritone saxophonist and pianist.

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