THEESatisfaction @ Jazz Cafe Friday 18 November, 2011

It’s very hard for an act to impress me with a live performance if I’ve never heard them before. THEESatisfaction did that last night with ease and great aplomb.

I generally find stage craft to be a little contrived. I prefer it to be about the music and not what you think is a cool way to move your flailing limbs around. It is perhaps for this reason that I am not likely to warm to an act by live performance alone.

Most acts have no idea how to reproduce their recorded sound on stage. No concept of self mixing. Generally all (poorly mixed)music and no voice or vice versa. This is another reason why acts struggle to impress me with their live performances.

Imagine my surprise then when I witnessed a consummately professional performance by THEESatisfaction.

The sound produced on stage is amongst the best I’ve ever witnessed from a live act. I could hear the music AND the voices clearly. Amazingly both of those factors are of an incredibly high standard so it’s only right and proper that they are treated this way.

I always fall in love with music first then the voices. This was awesome music. Mesmeric hip hop. Very quickly, I realised that the voices here were an integral part of the music. Tight raps and a beautiful voice adding to the powerful patchwork of sounds. It’s not a normal state of affairs for me to feel like that about most music.

The dancing that these girls did was because they were really into their music not because they felt it was what they should be doing to impress upon us that they are cool (which they undoubtedly are). Unfortunately I couldn’t say the same of the audience who were largely hipster idiots.

THEESatisfaction put me in mind of London’s own Cookie Crew and I’ve seen them compared to Althea & Donna but I think both of those comparisons are a little lazy. The combination of music and delivery puts them in their own category.

I generally don’t even enjoy live performances by bands that I love so I can give no higher praise to THEESatisfaction. They have the magic combination of magic stage presence and musical talent in abundance. I’m looking forward to hearing a lot more from them and hope they visit our fair shores again soon.

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