BOO SEEKA @ Jack Rabbit Slim’s gets 7/10

Boo Seeka @ Jack Rabbit Slims
w/ Tuka
Friday, June 21, 2019


Tuka is one third of Australian hip hop trio Thundamentals, as well as an accomplished solo MC and easily one of the most recognisable voices in  current Australian hip hop. Last Friday he proved he really can hold his own.

He opened with Die A Happy Man which fired up the crowd, everyone was bouncing, massive grins all round, good vibes flowing. There is a magic to the way he performs, managing to make every person in attendance an active participant. It’s rare to see an artist so engaging, interactive and intimate with the crowd. While he delivered songs that audibly and lyrically alone were compelling, what was most impressive was how me managed to connect with every person he could. Whether that was acknowledging people individually, hugging audience members, holding people’s hands, inciting everyone to meow, jumping off the stage to perform from within the crowd then initiating a group hug or crowd surfing. Everyone was involved and part of the experience.

There was not a single second that was dull which is no easy task when realistically it’s a single man on stage with a microphone. The standout tracks were LDTE and Yeah Right where he launched into the audience performing to everyone he could one on one. He also played a beautiful rendition of Angus and Julia Stone’s Big Jet Plane that had everyone singing loudly, arms wide. It is easy to see why his fans are so die hard, more a community than just a fanbase, obvious in a sea of Tuka caps and shirts. He is super likeable, warm, endearing, charismatic and uses his voice for good. Interweaving his music with pep talks, games and engaging dialogue. The messages he sends are of love and positivity and his lyrics are quick witted, deeply introspective storytelling delivered in an upbeat feel good way that has a side effect of making everyone dance. The passion for what he does is so evident and radiates off him. He also stayed behind, taking the time to meet and hug every single fan. Humble.

Shortly after Boo Seeka materialised on a dark stage, red wine bottle in hand to the stilled, silent, sold out crowd. Then suddenly we were treated to blinding lights, lustrous vocals and pulsating electro sounds, blended with sciencey, futuristic synth. Boo Seeka refer to themselves as a musical experiment and that’s a fair summary. A little psych, soul, trip hop and dance with Ben Gumbletons voice occasionally having country-esque bluesy tannins.

That voice is easily the apotheosis of their show. Gumbleton can seriously sing. Each note executed perfectly, tone and control flawless. Paired with syncopated beats, Gumbleton and Michael Mays’ non stop bouncing and bopping and a healthy dose of keyboard, made it an enjoyable show. May is a newcomer to Boo Seeka, recently slotting in to replace Sam Croft and it’s an interesting dynamic to watch. There’s a noticeable difference in how much Gumbleton holds the limelight, perhaps with more live performance experience together this will alter.

With only one album under their belt and one about to be released they were able to deliver all of their hits ingrained in every Triple J lover’s vernacular including Does This Last, Human, Deception Bay and their most recent track that their tour was named after, Millennium Drive. In between was sprinkled with new tracks that had a darker, heavier feel than their previous work. It was vocally well executed albeit hard to fully maintain interest for the set’s entirety – perhaps partly due to the rapid change in pace from Tuka before. It was hard to come down off that cloud so quickly. They seem genuinely beautiful artists that truly love their fans and remained after to mingle with the crowd. A really nice, enjoyable night in a venue that fitted perfectly.


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