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Malakai - Rock City, Nottingham, 5/5/2009

  by Sarah Mwangi

published: 18 / 4 / 2009

Malakai - Rock City, Nottingham, 5/5/2009


Bristol-based trip-hop/soul duo Malakai have won much acclaim for their debut album, but, at a gig in support of Doves at the Nottingham Rock City, Sarah Mwangi finds their live performance ragged and lacking focus

Perhaps it was because they weren’t in front of their own crowd, but something tells me that Malakai left their best back in Bristol. The duo, frontman Gee and man behind the music Scott, released their debut album ‘The Ugly Side of Love’ earlier this year. It sounds like something everyone should hear and has been lauded as just that. After the performance they phoned in supporting Doves in Nottingham’s Rock City, those critics may, however, want to print a retraction. Certainly what Malakai lacked was energy but their diversity was also called into question when the second half of the set started to sound like the first. And to make matters worse - probably worried about being labelled as a gimmick - Gee walked on stage without the monkey mask he was ever-so fond of last year.Some may think that that was a good idea on his part, but then again maybe there was something to that mask because without the theatrics boredom set in quickly. I mean, how can you think that staring down an audience under blood red lights is ominous ? That may pass during amateur theatre night but not when you have a powerful trio of hard-knocks (‘Warriors’, ‘Snowflake’ and ‘Blackbird’) holding your court. Such half-arsed antics caused these stand out tracks to lose their gleam. For something that never had any sheen in the first place, Gee’s vocals were as raw and jagged, however, as the album foretold. It bought back what was lost and gave ‘The Battle (Shitkicker)’ its riotous abandon and ‘Fading World’ its soul crooning heart. Yeah sure, they may have held part of the crowd’s attention long enough to keep them from talking over their set, but only because the contrast between Doves’ indie/rock melodies and their own trip-hop/soul/rock hybrids was so great that you had to look twice. In their defence, they did seem to pull a bigger crowd towards the end of their set, or was that just Doves fans getting a good spot in time for the main act? The latter unfortunately seems more probable.

Picture Gallery:-
Malakai - Rock City, Nottingham, 5/5/2009

Malakai - Rock City, Nottingham, 5/5/2009

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