Poets of Rhythm
Whelans was host to the POETS OF RHYTHM, a band I had never heard of before but one that had an interesting enough advertisement (as this article shows). So I went along with two others, to what I reckoned would ultimately turn out quite good; eclectic, jazzy, with the possibility of epic beats and lots and lots of percussion. I was correct, in one way. I had also thought it would be quite hip-hoppy (due to the association with Quannum's DJ Shadow and Lyrics Born), but it was not at all, and pleasantly so.
Originating in Munich, Germany, under the lead of its then two core members Boris Geiger and Jan Weissenfeldt, the band spent many years collecting various friends and acquaintances together throughout the 90s until their funk-fused image was fully realised and solidified by a record contract in 2000. The latest album, their fourth - 'Practice What You Preach' - came out late last year.
The rather small stage was set early on that night for what was to be an overall stunning and impressively professional gig. The Poets stayed put for the guts of a two hour set. They poured through some old tracks ('Ham Gallery' and 'Guiding Resolution'), rambling along with spiced up keyboards, rapid drumming and even some genuine jazz flute. Trumpets blazed and tore into guitar riffs and bass lines that never really slowed down nor hesitated for a second. One song ran into another creating a total immersion into and of the music for all the audience. Many tracks from last years' album were performed... ('More Mess On My Thing', 'The Plan' and 'What you Doin'), rounding off in an explosion of joyous noise.
I am not usually one to listen to or even enjoy this type of music, as I feel much of it is repetitive, but I was happily surprised at some of the chord changes and varied song structure the band used to enhance the uniqueness of their art form. The age range here with this 7-piece is a broad one, from twenty-two to the 'old man of the group' (36) as bass player Jan Krause himself admitted afterward, so a spectrum of diversity and experience runs thick throughout.
(Afterward, I met the band randomly and we were invited to join them in a bar for the next three hours or so. I think they only liked my female companion really, always handy to have one close for journalistic reasons I suppose. It worked anyhow as the one of their members, Stuart, opened up and chatted effortlessly. I am still waiting for the official promised interview as much of what he said has been wiped clean. He has his own site however on myspace under Stuart Strausse; so hopefully, much more still to come folks).