Kindness // Live Review

Kindness

Electric Brixton – January 16th

Electric Brixton turned Studio 54 tonight as Kindness and his host of friends bought their dazzling medley of funk, disco and groove to a sell out a South London crowd. The handsome frontman seduced, paraded and commanded the stage leading his impressive backing band through songs from his latest album Otherness and 2012’s World, You Need A Change Of Mind along with a host of throwback covers including Whitney Houston, Anita Baker and Womack & Womack.

The 90-minute set opened with ‘World Restart’ the first track from a suited and booted Kindness’s 2014 record. The tall, tanned brunette, real name Adam Bainbridge, continued to soak up the crowd’s energy and enthusiasm, two-stepping from one side of stage to the other and playing the cowbell in time with his band’s percussionist, before leaping into the stripped back, keyboard led rhythm of, I’ll Be Back and danceable electric licks of Doigsong, it’s Bernard Edwards meets LCD Soundystem.

The set powered on with the crowd rocking and swaying to the music and needing no encouragement from the producer/singer who by now was near up to his knees in cloud-like mist from the smoke machine, channeling Prince from his Purple Rain album cover.

Halfway through the set another tall figure emerges from the same mist only to reveal the familiar face of Dev Hynes, who makes his way to the stage to screams and applause from the excitable audience. The dreadlocked Blood Orange producer and collaborator picks up the electric guitar, takes position and unloads a barrage of funky Nile Rodgers-styled hooks which send the crowd into overdrive. The pair are joined by Tawiah and perform their heartfelt ballad, ‘Why Don’t You Love Me’, the vibe almost resembling that of a school Prom’s last dance.

Dev leaves the stage and Kindness flanked by his talented backing singers has his thank you’s to say before going into the “last song from the new album” ‘It’ll Be OK’ before making his way backstage setting up for an encore.

The band return to applause and cheering and the room erupts as the band make their way through a cover of Blood Orange’s ‘Uncle Ace’. Fully in his element, Kindness leaves Dev Hynes to do his thing on the guitar, he in turn drops one hell of a funk-infused solo bringing the Electric to it’s knees. The band are precision perfect, sax, drums, snare, and slap bass all create a mighty orchestra and cacophony of jazz-like improvisation, Bainbridge takes advantage of the moment and seizes a pair of tambourines.

Of course there’s one last song which Kindness insists he must play, the crowd blow up with awe as he serenades them with ‘House’ and just when you think 90 minutes is nearly up, who makes her way to the stage? None other than Robyn and the crowd can’t quite believe their luck. Donning a loose white jacket, trousers and platform she sings their track ‘Who Do You Love?’

The evening ends with confetti falling from the ceiling before Kindness, the band, Dev and Robyn take two well deserved bows, leaving the stage after an enlightening performance in SW2/9.

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Buy: Kindness – Otherness