Push - Wardrobe, Leeds, 25th Nov, 2011 Live Review 2011
PUSH is one of the most well-known bands in the UK in the funk, soul and rare groove scene, having played and pioneered styles of funk back in the Acid Jazz days, all the way through to today, where they are always on call as a backing band that catalogues a host of the gigs, playing with the some of the best artists in their genre. It was a real pleasure to witness the band on tour, promoting their new album 'Band On A Mission' in one of Leeds' coolest live venues 'The Wardrobe' to a totally captivated audience. Craig Charles and his 'Funk & Soul Show' was bringing it all together, for an entertaining display of skilfully crafted musicians doing what they do best!
Outside of London the funk/soul scene is somewhat limited so it's always nice to be getting a flavour of what happens down there. Push were certainly feeling The Wardrobe, which complimented their sound majestically. What was really cool was seeing a totally mixed audience, who were truly into groove and absolutely became a fan of PUSH by the end of their set. Many hadn't even heard of PUSH but obviously the old skool cats were down to watch a master class. Experience was certainly evident tonight, with all the patience and subtlety of quality musicians knowing how important it is to work the crowd and also respecting why the song counts, yet staying loyal to their sound, playing with all the freedom of jazz and funk. With their ultimately rare groove, they created a really good live show!
PUSH played a selection of tunes through their history as a band; however this was about promoting new album 'Band On A Mission'. With new main singer Daniel Pearce certainly bringing a lot of soul and melody to the mix, the whole groove was coming through really well as a band and the new tunes certainly seemed relevant to the happy audience. I was totally blown away by main players Crispin Taylor's (drums), Ernie McKone's (bass) and Mark Vandergucht's (guitar) displays of true skill with all the class of London jazz sophistication. It was really pleasing to experience PUSH, the pioneers of rare-groove, who sounded totally fresh and brand new to a whole crew of new listeners, who just wanted to get down and groove! The 'Craig Charles Funk Show' finished it off and certainly seemed pleased to be playing a host or remixes and relevant underground tunes to an appreciated youth.
PUSH are an excellent set of musicians who certainly love what they do. The UK should be proud of this group, whose new album, 'Band On A Mission', is still winning and relevant to the mind of many people here. Such sounds cross boundaries and I rest assured that PUSH has many more gigs to perform around the world. If you get the chance, GO SEE THEM! Quality!