Monday, May 24, 2010

I wasn't in great shape for last Friday's Stag and Dagger Festival as it'd been too hot and too noisy for me to get any sleep the night before. Still, I did my level best, and managed to catch four acts - The Paper Cinema (Rich Mix), Dominique Young Unique and The Phenomenal Handclap Band (both at the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen) and Django Django (Queen of Hoxton) before heading home to get some much needed sleep. If I'd been at full energy, I would probably have tried to catch The Filthy Dukes and Simian Mobile Disco as well.

In any case, the undisputed highlight of my evening was Dominique Young Unique, an 18-year-old rapper from Florida. In addition to the great name (and, yes, that is her real name), she's not bad to look at, and has a great pair of legs. She's also got stage presence, with a confidence far beyond her teenage years. In terms of her music, she can certainly rap, with the words coming at rapid-fire pace from her mouth. Mixed up with staccato dance beats, her tunes are incredibly catchy indeed. Her biggest hits, War Talk and Show My Ass, went down exceedingly well with the crowd, particularly when the killer dance hook of the latter kicked in. Awesome. I even found myself doing a little booty poppin' of my own.

The Phenomenal Handclap Band did exactly what it said on the tin. Looking like a band right out of the 1970s, the seven-piece ensemble from New York performed loads of songs, all with a fair amount of clap-a-longs, and sounded quite peacefully and hippish-ly happy. The only thing was that the room was packed full of people, and I always seemed to be caught up in traffic streams of people, and was swept further and further into the room against my wishes.

Django Django, nothing at all to do with the jazz legend, was an interesting band. I'm not quite sure how to classify their sound. It's a bit of folk rock mixed with pop-friendly dance (e.g. Hot Chip). It was good, but I found myself blacking out for part of the set (as I did with The Phenomenal Handclap Band), either because I was way too tired, or because I'm starting to suffer from narcolepsy. I'd definitely like to check them out again under better circumstances.

Dominique Young Unique will be performing at yOyO (short for "You're Only Young Once") at the Notting Hill Arts Club on June 3, 2010.

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