It's been a while (as usual) since I last managed to grace these pages with any content. A new job and several personal issues to iron out have made it near impossible to get any decent down time, but hey-ho what can you do?
Fortunately last Thursday saw me grab a seldom seen free evening for myself, so as a treat I headed South of the river to Brixton and it's slick club Plan B for Ultimate Breaks & Beats LIVE.
Now those amongst you with even a passing interest in Hip Hop will be aware of the Ultimate Breaks & Beats series of compilation albums wether you may realise it or not. Released by Street Beat Records between 1986-1991, the albums featured a collection of Funk, Soul, R&B and Disco tracks all of which feature amazing drum breaks.
These drum breaks form the building blocks of Hip Hop and have been sampled many many more times than I've had hot dinners. Many parts of the featured tracks across the 25 different albums will be recognisable even in mainstream modern music today. I'm sure you'll agree, for a band to perform and do the series the justice it deserves live is certainly no mean feat!
Several months ago back in the summer Myself and Hoppin' John ventured down to Brighton to Guest DJ at Quit Jivin' at the Xuma Bar with Ed Meme.
Whilst supping several chilled beverages in the sunshine both he and 'Lady' Clair explained the new project they had in the pipeline involving The Impellers and the Ultimate Breaks & Beats series. They were going to put together a version of the albums in the form of a live mixtap! I have to admit the enormity of the task they were considering certainly made me question wether it would be possible.
Fast forward a meagre four months and the plans had become a reality as I headed over on the underground to the venue to see the band perform. On arriving at Plan B the venue was full of dancers all joining Fred Realness & Billy Biznizz in a well drilled Hip Hop and Funk dance class before the band took over. Amazing to watch, they took everyone through classic moves such as The Jerk and The Funky Guitar. Brilliant stuff!
By the time The Impellers took to the stage the crowd were well warmed up and ready to get down. Now I've had the pleasure of seeing The Impellers perform live several times and have never ever been left disappointed. Their performance on the night truly showed just how professional, tight and well rehearsed they are as a band. Each and every member is an astoundingly talented musician and the fact that I knew the material very well highlighted this fact even more.
The band effortlessly cruised through an astounding FIFTY FIVE different tracks in around an hour and a half, all seamlessly blended together and constructed in the form of their vision of a live 'Mixtape'.
By the time they wrapped up the second half of their performance the crowd was screaming for more. As everyone eventually left the venue after a great night we all knew we'd witnessed something very special!
All photos courtesy of Simon Green
Below is a small selection of cuts lifted from The Ultimate Breaks And Beats series or your aural pleasure.
Stay safe and enjoy today's Review and be sure to keep an ear to the ground for news of the next instalment of Ultimate Breaks And Beats LIVE.
The Mohawks - The Champ
Funk Inc. - Kool Is Back
The Commodores - The Assembly Line
Marvin Gaye - T Plays It Cool