Last Saturday at the Mercury, Indigo Child played for the first time in two years for a one-time revival. Artists Lo-ghost, Flying Bantu, and Well Done Sun also performed.
Indigo Child played together for 3 ½ years in total after meeting during their studies. They were originally a group of five: Adrian Fowler (drummer), Andre van der Merwe (bassist), Kim Elder (vocalist and “front lady”), Al Clapper (lyricist and vocalist), and Alan Williams (guitarist). Williams left the band after two years, and for the final year, they played as a group of four. On Saturday, Bam Bam Brown accompanied the original four on guitar. They played eight original songs, which are available on SoundCloud.
The band classifies its music as “dream pop space rock”, but gives no limited definition. Elder said that their so-called genre is “the shell of it, and from there the layers started to be creative because of our influences from separate people [in the band]”. She commented on her roots in soul, and Clapper discussed his R&B influences.
Indigo Child played with an intense energy and a collaborative cohesion that can only be found in a group whose relationships extend off-stage. Clapper and Elder, who work together as vocalists, said: “We just get each other.”
Elder also commented: “When we get together as a band, there’s something super magical that [happens]. And it’s so easy and it’s so carefree that you can kind of be who you need to be creatively; who you want to be, creatively. And let the music take you. That’s the beauty behind it.”
Seeing the band kick off after two years off-stage, one can only hope that they decide to continue the “Revival” and keep playing.
Three other groups - Lo Ghost, Flying Bantu, and Well Done Sun - also made incredibly original performances.
Lo-Ghost, the first of the lineup, is an alternative pop group composed of two members, Evan Strauss and Shannon Devy. They played nine original songs, available on Spotify and SoundCloud, in which their enmeshed pop, rock, and electronic influences came through. The two started in 2015 when working at a restaurant together.
Of their music, Devy said: “One of the first sort of agreements that we came to when we began working together is that whatever we’re going to end up doing needed to be very fiercely authentic and pretty raw and pretty honest.”
Strauss talked also about their lyrical content: “A lot of the lyrical content deals kind of with grief and love and those who have loved us and aren’t here anymore and those type of feelings which I think is a big kind of cathartic thing for us.”
Flying Bantu, an Afro fusion band from Zimbabwe, was second in the lineup. The band’s sound has a distinct Zimbabwean sound with Reggae, Rock, Funk, and Jazz infuences. Band members Bongani Ngema, Amkela Moyo, Sam Gulubani, and Tinashe Maoneni played nine original songs available on Spotify and SoundCloud. Tinashe Maoneni “Nash”, vocalist, said of their music: “What’s new about the music is that it’s really an inculturation of different sounds. It’s a mish mash of many different [influences].. The expression is as broad as the inspiration.”
He also talked about the “message” in their music, stating: “There’s an unmistakable voice that speaks of peace, of togetherness, of shedding our differences and putting them aside, regardless of colour, regardless of class, regardless of various religions; whatever separates people in the 21st century. We’ve come this far as human beings and surely the biggest lesson is that fighting each other is not the solution.”
Well Done Sun, a two-man band that recruits friends to play with them in concert, was last in the lineup. Hanno van den Berg (vocalist) and Brett Atkinson (bassist) said their music started out as Psychadelic rock with “folk vibes” but increasingly took on a more electronic sound. Van den Berg said the songs are more of “a color or a texture or a vibe or an energy or whatever you want to call it. It’s about the way it makes you feel.” The group played several of their original songs, which can be found on Spotify and SoundCloud.