REVIEW: Bonobo @ Brighton Centre, 26/11/2017

The Verse’s Csenge Krokovay reviews Bonobo’s show at Brighton Centre on Tuesday 26th November.

If you get most of your general updates about the world through social media, you must know all famous and rich people dream of living in Brighton and Hove. Thinking of the recent news; Leonardo DiCaprio is moving to Brighton; or the rumour that Katy Perry is considering to settle into our beautiful seaside town.  The ugly truth is that we are more likely to see a seagull dressed up as fish and chips, shouting ‘I want to eat myself’, than seeing Leo & Katy shaking their booties in our iconic bar, Revenge. It’s not going to happen.

However, Brighton is considered one of the most epic and friendliest places in the UK. A place with ‘real people’, as they say. It is a small city, yet Brighton is offering endless creative and artistic opportunities.

Simon Green, aka Bonobo…

We have some local celebrities: Fatboy Slim or Peter James. Also, lots of other talented people have started their creative rising in Brighton. Just like Simon Green, aka Bonobo, who played at The Brighton Centre on the 26th of November.

Since his first album, Animal Magic, in 2001, Bonobo quickly expanded his popularity in the circle of downtempo, dub, hip-hop, funk lovers. His organic, atmospheric music has been around for almost two decades. The World Tour of his 6th album Migration, released in 2017, started in North America and visited many European countries as well as the UK. The album Migration has previously received some harsh criticism, but still, it’s reached no.5 on the UK album charts.

Brighton was home for one of the last concerts on the tour. Bonobo has headlined in his own show, with a live band, DJ-set on stage and the beautiful light-show visuals which made this night unforgettable for all of us. The tour will cross the finish line on the 8th of December in Tokyo, Japan.

I’m not a music critic, but I’ve loved Bonobo since his second album release Days to Come. I remember those days at the end of my secondary education when we found these underground clubs playing awesome music which we were not able to listen to elsewhere. We got hooked on chill-out, jungle and dub music beats …and then came Bonobo with his newfound chilled beat-driven funk-soul electronic music. I definitely fell for his catchy tunes instantly.

The Brighton Performance

Despite my love for Bonobo, I have never been able to buy a ticket to a concert, so the opportunity to see Bonobo live at The Brighton Centre was priceless. Green brought the show with a full orchestra, drummer and vocalists. It was an hour and a half long pure relaxation for our minds to this beautifully vibrant music. Migration is clearly a step forward in Bonobo’s musical progress. The music he played was more oriental, somewhat faster, but still offering a safe place for us to dance.

A very significant device for the show was the visual effects. In the beginning of the performance, thick fog flooded onto the stage obscuring everything from view, including the first row. Then the light turned on and off, showing only the parts of the stage they wanted us to see whilst other areas were mystically hidden. A drum-set was shown, creating the illusion that there was no one else on stage.

Finally, the drummer started playing and the light turned on. We could see Simon in the middle behind his DJ-set and the full orchestra. It was magical. We heard new songs and some of the very popular older ones. I really liked the extra effect the orchestra added to the live set. The classic violin sound with the banging, quick drum in the background. Projected on the huge screen behind the musicians were animations and abstract close-ups. The vocalist’s glittering voice was just the appetizer before they exploded their real magic cannons and sparkling confetti fell on all of us.

After the show

After walking home from the concert passing the third street I could still see the confetti escaping from the building. Despite having a seated ticket, I could sneak downstairs at the end of the show and see how people enjoy the music from the standing area. I must say, the view was stunning from the balcony compared to downstairs, but people were dancing and enjoying the concert just as much as the seated areas above. The Brighton Centre is not one of England’s biggest concert halls, but even so, they really did their best and offered us a brilliant show. It made me think of the upcoming concert at the Alexandra Palace in June. It is announced to be enormous. I can’t wait to be there for the next one!  It really was a spectacular show.


BOOK your tickets now to Bonobo’s epic show at London’s Alexandra Palace, June 2018.

The Verse Staff

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