Bristol-based band, The Undercover Hippy bring their reggae vibes to Southampton on a Thursday night. With excellent supports from upcoming, ska favourite, The Bobonboboffs and local brilliance, Basement 83, the night is filled with madness, dancing and that festival feeling.
For a name like The Undercover Hippy, it is fair to say not one hippy in the room is undercover this evening. Dreadlocks, festival trousers and a strong stench of cannabis swim round The Joiners proving that you don’t need a festival to bring that unbeatable atmosphere.
The Bobonboboffs are the first band tonight and are Southampton’s answer to a good time. Starting the night shouting, “Bex wants sex with a couple of guys” proves that this set isn’t for the easily offended. The use of a trombone in their set gives them that unbeatable, ska edge and their bold choice to end the set screaming, “bum bum uppity bum bum, take me up the bum” has the audience either in tears of laughter or screaming it back. The harmonies from Sian Unwin on bass combined with the unique vocals from Tim Brown resemble that of The Jim Jones Revue, conjure up as a remarkable pairing.
Plus, the technical drumming from Curtis Allen shows that the band are oozing talent that they humbly mask behind songs about blow jobs, sex and beer. At initial glance, the band may seem like just another comedic, ska band but with musical inspiration such as The Clash, The Bobonboboffs is a name that deserves to be gracing festival headlines in the near future. Plus, any band ending their set on a song about anal-sex deserve to spread their fresh take on modern music to the masses.
Basement 83 are the next band up and are a cross-genre collective of hip hop, reggae and drum & bass. With a distinctive sound that also incorporates slight hints of funk, they get the crowd all up on their feet. The band feed off each other and it’s undeniable that the energy is then contagiously fed off into the crowd. The band are big, there are about seven of them. But the added members influence them to bring more musical layers making it quite hard not to dance. Some vocals are questionable over the cross-genre sounds, with the vocals perhaps being more suited to a pop alternative, however, the overall vibe that is being spread around The Joiners and the reaction the Southampton-band receives proves that they are a crowd favourite.
The Undercover Hippy come swiftly on next, sporting a shirt and black-tie look resembling that of Gentlemen’s Dub Club, yet don’t bring any of the high energy that they brilliantly do. The songs are your stereotypical reggae sounds that would be perfect to listen too sat in a field on a Sunday afternoon, but perhaps tonight is just the wrong setting. With inoffensive beats and rhythms that one can glide along with, the only aspect missing is the onstage chemistry. There is little to no interaction which at times makes things feel a little awkward and unsatisfying. But despite this factor, the songs bounce between reggae-style poetry and a Bristolian commentary on current affairs that get us sweetly bobbing along, counting down the seconds until Summer.