Puzzles us why, at the close of every year, you still hear some journos saying ‘it hasn’t been a great year for music.’ To us, that says more about them than the state of music. The statement is redundant. It’s always a good year for music. Some years, you just have to listen harder. Or, dare we say it, listen away from your self-imposed comfort zone.
So, if you’re after something not Adele or some me-too bluesy alt rock combo with great hear this year, may we suggest you start your musical year off in a completely different time zone. And this month, we’ve found the perfect opportunity, courtesy of the gents at Rebel Soul.
City based Rebel Soul is a social enterprise with, well, soul. Its one goal – to encourage, nurture and champion up and coming bands and artists who live that ‘world in one city’ mantra we’ve seen splashed about the city like municipal Banksys.
You might have come across their special brew at Liverpool Pride, Brazilica, Mathew Street or last year’s Fight The Cuts with Ians Prowse and McNabb.
“We know it’s these musicians who are the lifeblood of the music industry,” says Rebel Soul’s Rory Taylor. “So it’s our job to give them a platform to showcase their work to a hopefully receptive audience.”
This month, together with DJ and global musical magpie, Audio Voyeur, they’re holding a barnstorming open night with a bit of a difference. The aim? To join the dots between African and Jamaican music, and to bring it all back home.
“We both have a love of African and Jamaican music, especially Afrobeat/Hilife and Reggae/Dub,” Taylor tells SevenStreets. “Fortunately, because Liverpool has a large African and Caribbean population we have fantastic festivals showcasing and celebrating the music from these parts of the world. But we think that there should be more of it.”
And, in a move that’s close to our hearts – and will resonate with all those we love in this city – they didn’t whinge, they did something about it.
“We both wanted to give more exposure to some wonderful styles of music,” Taylor says. “The event is not just about Afrobeat and Reggae. It’s about the music inbetween, hence ‘Joining the musical dots from Africa to Jamaica’. We want to celebrate the fact that different genres are all related.
“With the big ass brass of We The Undersigned and the infectious rhythms of the River Niger Orchestra (pic), I think Version Excursion is going to be one and highly energetic and eclectic evening,” Taylor smiles.
Version Excursion, 27 Jan
Mello Mello, Slater Street
Sound Cloud: http://soundcloud.com/rebel-soul-uk