Walking into Whelans, the sound bleeding from the windows upstairs was reminiscent of a film. A funky groove, just a teaser of what was to come as I walked through the doors of the upstairs venue. The intense heat smacked me in the face and the music punched my ears. It was just like all the great gigs I used to go to growing up.
Danny G’s set was slightly wasted on the crowd. The room wasn’t nearly as full as it would be once CC Brez took to the stage. Danny’s energy didn’t seem to notice, though, and his band powered through their set regardless of the somewhat indifferent crowd. Chatting at the back of the room annoyed me, but Danny G and the Major 7ths were in their own world. A world ruled by CC Brez and his band, a throne they claimed once they struck up.
I don’t like putting artists into genres, but CC Brez moonwalks between funk, soul and disco. This show was not a gig, it was a party. Unfortunately the crowd didn’t take full advantage of that, and mostly stood watching the band. That said, the vibe in the room was brilliant. The sticky heat matched the catchy loops of the band, leaving melodies in my head for hours afterwards.
Brez himself has a powerful voice, but his backing vocalist, Louise, really tore the house down when she took lead towards the end. His guitarist, Jake, played to perfection, and the rest of the band stayed within the lines when they needed and exploded when it was wanted. Flawless musicianship, perfect showmanship.
The only real downside to the show was the similarity in the songs. That is the style though, just like reggae or ska. There may have been a sameness in the set, but the melodies and solos were enough to separate each one into a unique piece. A few rock breakdowns here, a few lulls there, and each song becomes an individual groove.
CC Brez is a powerhouse, and he should have been playing to a crowd far bigger. I’m looking forward to bigger things, bigger venues but the same tight band and grooves.