Concert Reviews

Sinkane with Steven A Clark at the Drake Hotel Underground

New York City’s Sinkane were here earlier this year opening for Hot Chip at the Danforth Music Hall.  Their groovy Spiritualized with hints of afrobeat instantly hit all my right heart strings.

Their brief set in June was almost like foreplay before their thoroughly impressive full 75 minute set at the Drake Hotel on a drizzly Wednesday night.  The poorly advertised gig managed to draw a respectable crowd to the Drake’s Underground room but truly Sinkane should be playing much bigger rooms.

While their opening set would be a groovier version of the band, last night showcased the blistering molten side of the band, yet still maintaining their beat-centric base.

Sinkane is Ahmed Gallab who handles vocals, guitar, organ and electronics.  The band also features three additional musicians who made such an awesome sounding set look so completely effortless and notably they looked to be having the best time in any act I remember witnessing.  The four of them were so in tune with each other not only was the crowd beaming and getting lost in a trance dance, but the band beamed as well, like they were thinking “we are owning this tonight”.

And they did own it last night.  Their playing was jaw-dropping, the two guitars played well and off each other, and the songs stretched out yet still seemed too short.  I made mental notes through their set of the friends I plan on bringing the next time they hit town, which I hope is soon.

I’m only familiar with 2014’s Mean Love of which he offered a few tracks.  But I did pick up 2012’s Mars as the material I didn’t know was the most impressive.  They ended the night with “How We Be” finalizing the seduction of my ears and the continuing of a beautiful relationship.

Opening up was Miami’s Steven A. Clark, who thankfully soldiered through and delivered a funky set of poppish R&B despite being greeted by only a few handfuls of people.

Joined by his keyboardist that laid down some thick basslines and some really impressive sound textures, Clark recalled early Prince for me while the tinny beats really brought the 80s back for me.  His perseverance paid off as the crowd grew to a respectable level over the course of his set.  Notably, their second last track delivered the most ridiculous bass I’ve ever heard in the Drake that I thought the hotel above would come crumbling down.  While some may have walked on stage and promptly walked back off, Clark displayed real showmanship by performing like the room was rammed.  His songs were catchy and he’ll definitely be one to watch to see how he evolves.

About author

Concert reviewer at Live in Limbo.