We don’t get afforded bands like these as often as in the past with hit makers like Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, or Average White band. These straying a tad more into psych and post punk then their predecessors before could even imagine or dare to enter into. These bands are taking leaps and bounds past genres and generalisations at all, fusing the beauty of many instead of sounding extremely similar to any. Quite miraculous in this day and age.
Had the pleasure of meeting both of the bands but primarily hung out with The Orange Kyte who wouldve crashed over at our place if it wasn’t full of dogs and people. That said, they were as kind and humble as can be and truly had the not so surpringly best set of the night if you’ve listened to their newest album, they sounded almost exactly the same but more jammin’. Matty, the Saxophonist, was on top of his range that night and the whole band came to play. Stevie Moonboots on lead vocals and guitar was outstanding but as psychgaze as possible which fits in perfect to the funky, dreamy, drone like jams they’re best known for. Matthew durie, the keyboardist, is energized but mellow in his style along with a jazz rock feel on drums by Dave Mulvaney and topped off with killer bass lines by Robin Schroffel. These guys and gal know how to put on a show and I hope to see them every time they come into town
Neither band, including The Babe Rainbow had ever ventured into Portland before to play a gig as they are both newer and just played Desert Daze so soon they will be regulars to the scene and playing in your home cities and towns.
The Babe Rainbow brought their funky backdrops and jazzy beats alongside the beachy sounds of the 60’s to mold a sound that cannot quite be put into a mold. As the lead guitarist Jack Crowther put it, “the best way I can describe our sound is a mix between James Brown and The Beach Boys. Not too far off my description of Simon and Garfunkel if they dropped a ton of LSD and stumbled into a soul/funk gig and decided to roll with it. They certainly have lots of time ahead of them and their self titled LP that just released is outstanding but I will say the live performance was a tad lacking in quality compared to studio but that’s not abnormal especially because after a long tour and epic set at Desert Daze. It also helps to get these gigs out of the way now rather then later. The passion is there and oozing out at times to be perfect and at times they are so good on vinyl that it’s hard to keep up with that standard. Smooth and sensual lyrics from Angus like an Australian Al Green vocalist who also handles bongos, maracas, & the tambourine. The new bassist “LuLu” Felix Domingo was smooth and funky with his basslines.
They began with help from King Gizzard’s Stu Mackenzie and Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records and will surely be cemented in psych soul for some time to come.
At no point in either set were my legs and feet stationary, these guys make you want to groove and make you feel like we’ve fell into a studio 54 time capsule, even playing covers like Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” while making it their own. Certainly an album to pick up and hopefully a band to see into the future.
The Babe Rainbow:
Angus Dowling (vocals, drums)
Jack “Cool-Breeze” Crowther (guitar)
Venezuelan newcomer Lu-Lu-Felix Domingo (bass)
The Orange Kyte:
Stevie Moonboots – guitar/vox
Matty Reed – tenor saxophone
Matthew Durie – Keyboards
Robin Schroffel – Bass
Dave Mulvaney – Drums
Grow it Right released by Little Cloud Records in Portland, OR
Represented by The Space Agency