When the line up for Timbre Rock & Roots was announced, I couldn’t contain my excitement when I heard that funk soul superstars Earth, Wind & Fire would be headlining Day 2. So of course when City Nomads received our media passes I jumped for joy. But this was about a lot more than just Earth, Wind & Fire as we found out for ourselves when we rocked up for the final day of the Rock & Roots Festival.
Held down at Marina Promenade, when we entered the festival’s alien floor of concrete things were off to a more subdued start as the crowds hadn’t yet piled in for Hugo, the Thai-Brit rock n roll emerging sensation. Oh well, all the more room for us to rock out!
This is the guy whose music was termed by Jay-Z as ‘gangsta rock’ and by gosh, I’d have to agree as it was plain to see that’s just what it is as he served up his rendition of Jay-Z’s 99 Problems. Think rootsy blues rock with a whole lot of grit, soul, attitude and some sexed-up cowboy fringing. And kudos to anyone who can pull off a cover of the Doors’ Light My Fire and win hands down like he did.
I have to admit it was not only Earth, Wind & Fire I was excited to see but also Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Having checked them out on YouTube before hand, I already knew that their set had potential to be mind-blowing. And boy was it ever. Because this is one soulful powerhouse of an outfit headed up by the super talented Troy – a.k.a. Trombone Shorty – Andrews. The crowd shook their thing as they belted out a sweet blend of old school New Orleans Jazz, funk, rock and soul termed by some as “Supafunkrock”.
And by gosh does this boy have an incredible way with a trombone, a trumpet, not to mention his voice. Such talent on a stick, he was not even phased when sound problems came into play. His solution? To jump down off the stage with his whole band and make like a New Orleans Parade playing When the Saints Come Marching In.
Much to the joy of the audience and dismay of security we all crowded round him to cheer him on, others like myself getting in line in the parade singing and clapping along with glee. It was bold and electric, just like his music.
Before we get onto the main act I have to say one thing that was totally excellent was the drumming experience put on by Lila Drums in-between the acts. This was a seriously fun, energising and rhythmic way to spend 5-10 minutes or so, or however long your palms can handle it for! Oh look here’s Kelvin Kew whose beats we followed…
Right now on to the main event – Earth, Wind & Fire. In case you’re wondering whether these guys have still got it, the answer is a huge YES. They burst onto the stage, shimmering with dazzling energy and a pair of golden cowboy chaps (!).
The crowd went crazy as they kicked things off with all-time favourite Boogie Wonderland, as we started the journey of losing ourselves in their expert vocal harmonies and grooves. In fact the whole set was one big bubble of peace, love and harmony with the crowd getting down to favourites like After the Love Has Gone and Let’s Groove as well as fantastic instrumentals which showcased their musical genius.
We – like many others – will be staying firmly tuned to hear of next year’s line up. But I just wonder….if the folks at Timbre are planning on topping this one, what treats will be in store for us all?
Want to get a better feel for it? Then check out our photo album here.
Written by Ms Demeanour