The Hempolics returned to The Brook’s stage for the second time in a few months. Dandelion (Daniel Collier) sang lead with Nubiya Brandon providing backing for their first number, a moderately mellow Life Ain’t Easy which quickly captivated the audience and set the super-chilled mood for the rest of the night.
The second track Green Line had Nubiya take control of the vocals before collaborating with Collier to sing Serious, previously a UK Reggae Chart number one for the band. Collier and Brandon continued to switch between lead and backing roles for the rest of the gig.
Leader and founder member Grippa Laybourne effortlessly operated a shelf of assorted tech (keys, controller etc) while often checking in with the other band members and still managing to get his own skank on. Multi-tasking at its best and most entertaining.
Lorenzo (bass), Craig Boorman (drums) and guitarist Jamie Furber make up the rest of this great band, between them providing a fusion of multiple genres powered at the roots by strong reggae and dub influences. Even with a non-stop 20-song set including eight tracks from their current debut album Kiss Cuddle and Torture Volume 1, the gig maintained momentum nicely and time shot by.
The Hempolics are a great live band to watch. Mesmerising you with their onstage energy and rich sound, they refuse to fall into common reggae stereotypes and do what they do their way. And their way just works perfectly.
Review & Photos: Ant Penny
The Hempolics – Boss Clock Me Style