Sinkane celebrated ‘Life & Livin’ It’ at Bowery Ballroom with No BS! Brass (pics, review)
Last year, Sinkane did a residency at Union Pool where he tested out a ton of new material, much of which ended up on the recently-released Life & Livin’ It, the former DFA artist’s first album for City Slang and his best yet. Sinkane has always been funky, but Life & Livin’ It has him diving more head-on into joyous, lively ’70s-style funk than he ever has before. He’s on tour now in support of it, and just played his first NYC show since its release. It was a sold-out, packed show at Bowery Ballroom on Friday night (2/17) and Sinkane had just about everyone smiling and moving the whole time.
Main member Ahmed Gallab expanded the Sinkane band for this tour, a necessary move for the heavily-layered Life & Livin’ It songs. Singer Amanda Khiri, who has collaborated with Sinkane before and sings on their last album Mean Love, is now an official member, as is keyboardist/vocalist Elenna Canlas (of reggae collective Easy Star All-Stars). Sinkane were also joined by three members of No BS! Brass — who opened the show — including No BS! co-founder Reggie Pace (who used to be in Bon Iver and has played in Sufjan Stevens’ band), Sam Koff (who has also backed Sufjan), and Blood Orange member Jason Arce (who’s also worked with Porches, Kindness, Weezer, and more). Every member of Sinkane’s 9-piece band is highly skilled, and they really brought the new songs to life. The horns were sharp and spot on, the vocal harmonies were gorgeous, and both Amanda and Elenna took lead-vocal moments to show off their own talents. The new album is a rhythmic, horn-fueled funk album but it’s also a serious guitar album, and Ahmed flexed the kind of smooth chops that you don’t often find in indie bands. The real fret master in Sinkane though is lead guitarist Jonny Lam, who took a solo that jambanders and metalheads would nerd out over (and Sinkane’s crowd cheered for it too).
With a set that included covers of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and “Thriller,” No BS! Brass were the perfect way to start off the night. It was pretty much impossible to watch them and not have fun, as the very enthusiastic crowd would probably agree. Pictures of the whole show are in the gallery above.