Plant Life

Concert Review by Neils Hesse

The Jazz Café, London – 31 April 2005

The tickets say 9pm start but for some unexplained reason the band is not yet on stage, maybe this is some sort of a gimmick to get the crowd hyped for the show. Anyway close to forty minutes later Jack Splash the flamboyant lead singer who is a mixture of Andre 3000, Prince, Bootsy Collins and with a groovy falsetto that is surprisingly familiar to the late Curtis Mayfield, he struts onto the stage after the rest of the band has taken their places. Without further a due they immediately start grooving and boy can they groove, their sound is a fusion of funk, hip-hop and some old school disco that briefly sounds like Lenny Kravitz minus the rock with some George Clinton style funk.

After their first song DJ Rashida The Beautiful grabs the mike from Jack Splash and busts a rhyme, she’s cool and breezy in a Monie Love way. Then it’s back to Jack Splash, the two backing singers, the two drummers, two guitarists, one trumpet player, one saxophonist and one guy on keyboards. Everybody in this band pulls their weight but Jack Splash is the undeniable driving force with his energetic singing and frantic gyrating on stage. At one point I was worried that he was going to take my eye out with his microphone stand, he was constantly swinging it around. Stand out Tracks were BEAUTIFUL BABIES, LUV FOR THE WORD and the current single WHEN SHE SMILES SHE HITS THE SKY, their closing song aptly named THE LAST SONG is truly hyperkinetic funk at it’s best.

Groovy, funky and just damned good. Plant Life are definitely a group to watch, with a fan base that includes the Neptunes, Mos Def and with critical acclaim across the board I can happily say that they live up to the hype. Lyrically they are very positive – in a nutshell they are the business.

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