REVIEW: FAIRTRADE NARCOTICS @ COLOUR CLUB (08/04/21)

If one were to walk into Colour Club on Thursday night, they would experience an assault on the senses in the best way possible. Visually, orange and blue light flooded the low-ceilinged room, giving the space an Austin Powers-meets-minimalism aesthetic. Sonically, clarinets, trumpets, drums, keys and guitars of every sort were manipulated by a myriad of musicians to create an epic sound. Emotionally, it was home. Everyone from the bouncer, to the bartender, to the stranger I accidentally hugged because they looked like my friend from behind, were warm, joyous and ultimately there to listen to some good music. They were not disappointed.

The music began with three-piece, soul-pop band, Wurli. Prudence, Non and Will welcomed the audience in and allowed them to experience shades of orange through their warmth, vibrancy and enthusiasm. The band provided a comfortable lead in that soon swerved into groove and funk, exuding a comfortable confidence that filtered throughout the entire set.  Prudence brought the power with her unwavering vocals and despite the small group, each song was filled out appropriately and never left the audience filling in the musical gaps in their minds. An underrated, but never underappreciated feat. 

The night progressed and the orange that Wurli had engrained was soon contrasted with the purple that Slypon splashed around the room. Suddenly the new norm was seven minute instrumental pieces with rapidly changing time signatures and a stage peppered with two televisions plus a Frank Zappa lookalike. You could either get on board or get on board, because the prog rock was here to stay. While at times the lack of interaction with the audience felt slightly isolating, Slypon were self-assured and unapologetic and that ambition was met with praise by their audience.

Fairtrade Narcotics took on shades of both blue and red with their musical whispers and punches existing side by side. Unfortunately, due to the sound system there was difficulty hearing Brooke and Liam on vocals, however they made up for that in spades with their stage presence and sass – I believe there was a Kanye reference at some point. Technical difficulties aside, Fairtrade Narcotics delivered a solid set, exuding both Julia Jacklin and Paramore vibes wrapped up in a veil comprised of jazz elements with a rap or two thrown in there for some extra spice. Despite the unconventional amalgamation of genres and influences, the five-piece band headlined an upstanding show. Although the lack of one solid, musical identity was an element that took getting used to, it also added an unpredictability that enhanced the night with more hues and shades than one could have hoped for.

The passion and virtuosity of Wurli, Slypon and Fairtrade Narcotics painted the walls of Colour Club and the joy in the room that night will leave everyone seeing yellow for days.

CHECK OUT FAIRTRADE NARCOTICS ON SOCIALS

Written by Meli Szabo

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