Benin City at Reading Festival

August 24, 2013

Well, the prize for ‘Best Dressed’ has been settled. The three of them have these matching spotted suits, with the drummer and sax player taking a mostly orange number while the vocalist dons lime green. So glad that that’s out of the way.

Bands like this are fun to review. It’s tough to pick out a particular genre that would easily define them. It’s a cross between Soul, Hip-Hop and Dub, but you could pick out plenty of other flavours if you fancied it. They’re named after a Nigerian state capital too, does that help?

The 1Xtra Stage that they are playing on has been added this year to help engage with a young urban audience, it’s also right next to a big entrance so a curious crowd has assembled for this one. They’re treated to a pleasently masterful set, perhaps a surprise for those who just felt like checking out the first thing they saw. A highlight being the spoken word track ‘My Love’. It’s built around a trippy backing track which morphs into punchy percussion and a spacey saxaphone. Alliteration for emphasis there, GCSE English teachers rejoice!

Soft and gloomy moments coil up energy that effervesces into bright luxurious spurts. By the time Benin City have really bought the party, they’ve riled up an early afternoon audience who want to get the rave started. It’s always a delight to see upcoming bands winning over new crowds, these gentlemen did it with one of the best shows we saw today.

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