June 29, 2004

Nizlopi At The Jesus College May Ball

The highlight of a fantastic night at the Jesus College May Ball on Monday was catching the Nizlopi set.

Pic of Nizlopi on stage It is hard to describe or categorize the music style of this duo, and their own "folk hip-hop" only goes part-way to capturing their sound. But there aren't many singer/guitarist and double-bassist/human-beatbox bands around. Their music has shades of Beth Orton, with a hint of James and maybe touches of The Beautiful South, and the songs explore themes ranging from the fears and excitement of a new romance to being five in your dad's JCB.

To witness the full splendour of Nizlopi though, you must see them live. They bring a wonderful, infectious joy and love of music to their performances. At the ball they played the cabaret tent, which had to compete with the dance music from the nearby DJ tent. The comedian on before them had died a death and finished his set in front of an apathetic audience twenty minutes early. Luke and John soon turned that around, micing up from the start to counter the background noise, and encouraging audience participation.

Audience participation seems to be a requirement at Nizlopi gigs, born of their belief that involvement is the key to enjoying music. By the third song, Luke was conducting the audience in three-part harmonies to accompany his singing, and soon after the rows of regimented seating were disrupted as we were urged to "get a bit closer", and duly complied.

Then came the aforementioned song JCB; one that they decreed must be done acoustically. To counter the noise from the dance tent, they just abandoned the stage and climbed upon a couple of chairs appropriated in the midst of the audience.

As they returned to the stage, Luke pointed out that this was dance music after all, and we shouldn't be seated. The chairs were hurriedly cast aside as we thronged together in front of the stage to dance around for the remainder of the set.

One of the best gigs I've ever been to. When are they next back in Cambridge?

Posted by Adrian at June 29, 2004 09:55 AM | TrackBack

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Yeah they were brilliant, have sinced purchased the album which is excellent.
They play at the Cb2 cafe on norfolk street every now and again

there are also a couple of mp3 downloads on the acousticroutes website to check out of Nizlopi.


Posted by: Pel at July 13, 2004 08:48 PM

The album is good isn't it. I bought a copy at the end of the gig!

Thanks for the link to Acoustic Routes too, hadn't heard of that before, will keep an eye out for any interesting gigs.

Posted by: Adrian at July 13, 2004 09:22 PM

Hi again, nizlopi now have an online forum.
Would be cool if you joined, as well as downloading the live mp3's


Nizlopi @ www.ezboard.com

Posted by: Pel at May 26, 2005 09:12 PM

Excellent, cheers for that. I'm now rather annoyed that I missed them playing the Portland Arms last week, but the blow is softened by being able to download the audio from the gig!

Shame I'm not going to the Jesus College May Ball this year, as I see they're playing there again.

Posted by: Adrian at June 6, 2005 05:29 PM
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