Disraeli & The Small Gods Guildford Boileroom Saturday March 30th

photo&copyright Sam Allen of Momentum Event Photography

photo&copyright Sam Allen of Momentum Event Photography

The pleasure and excitement ingrained in the passions from debut album Moving In The Dark meant that there was a heightened anticipation for the appearance of Disraeli & The Small Gods at The Boileroom in Guildford. Could the septet evoke the same power and emotive grip on thoughts and heart in the live setting as on their stunning album as well as find the richness of sound and temptation within their irresistible hip hop/folk fusion was the question on the mind on the way to the venue for this date on their so far very successful tour.

The turn out on the night looked slow initially but it is not unusual to find people turning up later in the evening at the venue from past experiences, and so it proved to the pleased satisfaction of show promoters TST Live Music Surrey, who provided us with a real treat, watch out for their future events is our advice. The evening was sparked into action with the fine and unexpected impressive presence of Grace Savage. Already renowned as the UK female Beatbox Champion of 2012, there was slight expectation of it just being a display of her undoubted talents to set things off, but instead what charmed and warmed the air was a blend of her stunning

photo&copyright Sam Allen of Momentum Event Photography

photo&copyright Sam Allen of Momentum Event Photography

skills into a performance of vocal and musical strength brought with a creativity which was just immense. To begin with Grace looked nervous yet confident with only the later aspect soaking her first full song Wrecking Ball. From a beatbox tease which had people instantly opened mouthed, Grace left no one in doubt to her singing ability, harmonies and notes as subservient to her vocal skills as the craft to beatboxing is to her inventive imagination and ability. The first track was sensational and the power she demonstrated not to forget the melodic beauty, quite sensational, whilst the two guys alongside her sharing bass and guitar duties for each song, a perfectly restrained yet rich presence to her instantly impressive display. Merging more beatbox skills in demonstration and song was enthralling but it was the actual songs like the commanding Animal and, forgive us if the wrong title, Prowler which left a fire of thrilled pleasure inside. With an album in the works, Grace Savage is an artist to keep a close ear upon for she will undoubtedly be huge at some point, ironing board and all (an emergency substitute for a forgotten piece of equipment). It must be added, and surely I was not alone, that Grace inspired a personal attempt at her amazing skills on the way home and even using multiple orifices, it was a lost cause.

The appearance of Dizraeli and his musical cohorts was met with such great excitement that you sensed the crowd was more than knowledgeable towards the band. They immediately seized the ear with We Had A Song, the word conjuring and expressive delivery of Dizraeli leaping around thoughts with electric breath and emotive infection whilst musically The Small Gods weaved their own contagious design. The song was an instant magnet which captured the majority of the venue, apart from a few with ardour for their own voices, though all succumbed not long after. As refreshing as the sound was the natural between song engagement between band, especially Dizraeli, and the audience, a mutual tease which brought an inclusion of all to the night something quite satisfying compared to the  usual we are the band watch us scenario so many artists still hide behind. It enclosed the atmosphere into a more personal embrace which impacted on the lyrical narrative which drives the passion of songs even more potently in the live landscape.

Dizraeli and The Small Gods2 photo&copyright Sam Allen of Momentum Event Photography

photo©right Sam Allen of Momentum Event Photography

With songs like Sailor and the excellent To The Garden, the voice of the audience rose in energy and hunger to match the sounds with the first explosive crescendo of lustful energy coming with The Instanbul Express, a pre-show favourite of a great many one suspects such the riotous union between the passion inciting piece of music and eventful bodies. The track proves just how inventive and powerful the band is, and addictively creative with the rampant beats of drummer Paul Gregory just one example of how the individual musicians cage finesse and unbridled musical boisterousness with skilled ease. Such the fire and  impact of the track one suspects the heat generated at that moment in the  room was detectable from space.

The lyrical painting of Dizraeli was easily as striking live as within their studio recordings, something which arguably surprised as you could imagine its clarity being defused within the furnace of stage performance but within tracks like A Trick Of The Moon and Little Things as just two examples, it found an even greater impact on the night, beautifully enhanced by the seductive voice of Cate Ferris as well as her flute magic, and the guitar imagination of Lee Westwood, who also offers great vocal support. The sirenesque tones of Cate especially add another dimension to songs in sound and emotion and again find another depth and flavour live, as shown with her stunning solo song, her voice seducing alone to impossibly transfix a crowd with goosebumps running their fingers down the back of most necks there I am sure.

From Strong Bright the night began its rolling crescendo of a climax which lasted over five songs, each conspiring together to leave the audience blissfully exhausted and enraptured. The outstanding Moving In The Dark brought another rise in temperature with no one by now sat flat on their heels whilst the two recent singles brought everything to a head, ably helped by another treat splitting their incendiary presence. Nevermind threw the local emergency room into panic such its hypnotic temptation on the feet and heads of the audience, whiplash a distinct possibility, whilst the show closing Million Miles had every ounce of energy physically and vocally from band and moving onlookers spent.

Not forgetting in many ways the less dramatic presences but certainly no less stunning craft of DJ Downlow, Jules Arthur, and the upright bassist who was new to me and whose name escaped detection on the night, the performance combined was unquestionably one of the most impressive and importantly, enjoyable encounters for the senses for a long, long time, and the whole gig itself a real treat to linger in the memory..

There are good shows, there are great shows, and there are Dizraeli & The Small Gods shows, DO NOT  miss them if playing in a town near you.




RingMaster 02/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dizraeli and The Small Gods: Moving In The Dark

     Dizraeli and The Small Gods pic

     Having already captured the heart with their singles Never Mind and Million Miles, UK band Dizraeli and The Small Gods has now seduced and mastered the soul with their stunning debut album Moving In The Dark. As evocative and seductive as it is powerfully provocative, the album seizes thoughts and emotions with a dramatically impacting innovative voice coated in a towering imagination driven mesmerism. Fusing a creatively individual form of hip hop with an equally inventive passionate folk embrace, the band creates music which reflects and discusses with the passion of an activist, issues in social and personal politics whilst wrapping it in sounds and ingenuity which alone has the power to opens up emotive points of view and reactions in the listener. It is a sensational album, a force of pure joy and invention.

The seeds of the band began in 2009 with some of its members already involved with the solo album Engurland (City Shanties) from award-winning rapper and multi-instrumentalist Dizraeli and part of its taking to the live setting. Dizraeli himself had already won BBC Radio 4′s Poetry Slam contest in2007 for his instinctive alchemy with words and the following year won the Spirit of the Fringe award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the dystopian hip hop play, The Rebel Cell created and performed with fellow wordsmith Baba Brinkman. Moving forward with an inevitability such the musicianship involved on the album and shows, Dizraeli and The Small Gods emerged in its own right and has already apart from releasing the two stunning singles lit up stages across the UK and Europe, under taken a very successful tour of Germany, and thrilled main stages at festivals including WOMAD. The seven-piece ensemble consists of Dizraeli, Cate Ferris (vocalist, flute), Lee Westwood (guitar, backing vocals), Paul Gregory (drums), DJ Downlow (DJ, backing vocals), Jules Arthur (viola, keys, backing vocals), and World Female Beatbox Champion Belle Ehresman better known as Bellatrix (beatbox, double bass), and with ease has strong claims as being the most original, diverse, and richly compelling conjurors of passion igniting music around today, the proof being their impossibly magnificent  album.

Released via ECC Records, the album emerges on the brief tide of Odd Creature to step into the immediately stirring grip of We Had A Song. With pulse throbbing beats carrying a flattened resonance alongside shadowed female melodic cries they make a keen Square cover smallerwrap for the vocal agility and enticing lyrical poetry of Disraeli. The song soon makes moves on the senses and emotions with a warm tenderness for yet forthright reflection on a specific breath of life. Across the album the rapper and lyricist has the powerful skill of looking at or portraying a small personal or singular aspect, the little things to use the name of a song further into the release, and have them seamlessly and potently translate to a wider and expansive worldly representation, the opener just the first stirring example.

From the impressive start matched by the delicious folk dance of Was A Rapper and the mischievously intriguing and anthemic title track, the album explores and stretches thoughts further with the formidable impacting caress of Strong Bright. A lone guitar and agitated beats shuffle in to view initially within a persistent niggling tease with a certain warning persuasion, setting up the ear with an eager appetite for the colourful narrative of Disraeli accompanied in places by the stunning vocal elegance of Ferris. Combining a continually evolving musical tempest of ideas and flavoursome imagination with equally inventive percussion and irrepressibly pertinent vocals, the descriptive atmosphere and breath of the track brings the in place ardour a new lustful hunger for what is to follow.

The eclectic sounds and craft of the album makes it an inspiring and enthralling temptress throughout with sirenesque lures at every individual tapestry of emotive storytelling and musical enterprise it weaves. The wonderful The Istanbul Express is a perfect example, its exotic instrumental and sultry mystique the perfect curvaceous musical lover to tempt and spellbind senses and heart. The likes of the vivacious Sailor with its vocal ear fondling from the mix of Dizraeli, Ferris, and guest vocalist Jam Baxter, as well as its haunting bass intimacy and psyched stringed taunting, and the noir blessed reflective smouldering White Rum, bring their own unique empowering presences to stretch the album and listener pleasingly further..

Surrounding the just mentioned pair of songs the previously mentioned singles lay in wait to tantalise and intoxicate; two pieces of genius which sing in heart and thought as devilishly as they do the ear such their irresistible infection and majesty. Starting with a Parisian sway and open invitation, Never Mind romps cunningly with the senses and passions, its harmonic swagger and carnivalesque stomp added to the inciting lyrical hug with a definite wink of the eye at play, the most glorious teasing with an almost sadistic wantonness to its allure and impossible not to bounce in union with physically and lustfully. Million Miles also opens with ear catching mischief, this time with the scything strings of the viola and thumping rhythms from drums, as well as magnetic percussion spicery and the again victorious bass. The tale of eternal lovers lost amidst chaos comes to life through the rap accuracy and lyrical prowess of Dizraeli and the golden flames of Ferris. Already the album has cast her as a vocal enchantress with her stunning tones but this song is her finest most magnetic moment, her glorious fire of sound igniting the skies of the song with beauty and emotive passion. The song is not just about the pair though as musically the band lie heated textures and flavours into an electrified and beautifully carved encounter with the throaty deep resonance of bass and one point a singular beat making the most impacting co-conspirator to the building fire of Ferris and waspish vocal craft of Dizraeli.

Further highlights come with the emotional Celtic folk tempest of There Is A Way with both vocalists telling the tale of a life trapped in the torment of drugs and demons upon a stark drone and imposing atmosphere, and Little Things with its precisely woven insightful imagery, piano discord, and stirring melodramatic whispers. A song inspired by the grandmother of Dizraeli, it is another stunning and emotionally impacting portrait. Every one of the fifteen songs on Moving In The Dark though are incredible in their very unique stances and characters with the closing The End Of The World another riveting and fascinating thought piercing glory. Dizraeli and The Small Gods has created a masterpiece of beauty, imagination, and emotively soaked inventive contagion, as well as undoubtedly the best album to bless 2013 so far.



RingMaster 24/03/2013

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