While it was billed as reggae the night actually started out with some electronic sounds thanks to Citizen-X. Armed only with an iPad, X creates sounds live using various electronic music apps on the tablet – usually this takes the form of soundscapes inspired by everything from science fiction and fantasy movies to the moon landings, tonight though he headed more into EDM territory.
While this was a bit different to normal it certainly gave his live show more groove that got a few of the small number in The Jamaica Inn moving on the dancefloor and, in a busier venue slightly, later in the night, I could see it going down very well.
While it was clear this was something of a new direction and there were a few technical glitches, it was good to hear X developing his sound and, while a more visual aspect to the performance would be of benefit, it sounded good and seemed to go down pretty well with those who’d turned out for the music.
Despite the EDM opener, between the live acts the reggae was in full flow thanks to DJs Limey Banton and Rob R. While I’ll be the first to admit extended sessions of reggae are not really my thing, Lime once again demonstrated his ability to keep the music varied and interesting but still within the general confines of the genre.
Alongside Rob they both dropped some great tracks, with some of their own embellishments, which kept the upbeat vibe of the night flowing – and it was great hearing some classics of the genre, like Uptown Top Ranking, through a proper PA.
As Rentoclean took to the stage the small crowd seemed a bit reticent about coming forward but it wasn’t long before the bands infectious reggae-gypsy-punk drew a few onto their feet and kept them their for the best part of the next hour.
Mixing older originals with newer ones the band were on top form tonight showing, once again, why they have become such a renowned party band, as the likes of Opium War and Bean Jar were greeted like hits and new songs went down just as well.
With a longer set Rentoclean had more space to explore more and fluidly slipped in variations and deviations into their more well-known numbers without missing a step with all four members really showing off their musical skills.
While the audience were into it Rentoclean are a band that deserve a bigger crowd as their sense of musicality and fun is genuinely infectious and, after they closed the set with the rather frankly titled We’re All C**ts they had people calling out for more.