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Thundercat @ Victoria Warehouse review – A sing-along special led by R&B maestro

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Featured images: Ameena Ceesay

LA native Thundercat has garnered quite the reputation. On top of being a Grammy award-winning solo artist, he has proven to be a reliable collaborator to an eclectic mix of artists from Kendrick Lamar and more recently, Tame Impala, integrating an intoxicating mix of R&B and funk in the process. In the midst of a UK and European tour, it’s safe to say his reputation precedes him. 

Kitty Cash is the sole supporting act of the evening. Performing on what looks like a DIY DJ deck, the crowd is immediately on her side. Whether it’s down to her sound (a well executed mix of Lo-Fi, hip hop and conventional techno), the general mood of the attendees, or the fact that it’s clear she’s having a good time connecting with the crowd, this is someone to keep an eye on. 

The glowing eyes of the logo-clad tapestry overlook the scene as the main event creeps closer. Rather than kicking off with a prolific tune from his discography, Thundercat, accompanied by his keyboardist and drummer, treat us to an instrumental of ‘Lost In Space’, where he gets to flex his muscles as a bassist. 

Almost every song segues into a casual conversation with Thundercat, the focus of which consists of him joking around, telling stories or simply saying thank you. His announcement that a new album is currently in the works leads into a preview performance of said new material, ‘ADD Through The Roof’. Following on from a story about his collaboration with Pedro Martins on the 2020 album, It Is What It Is, we get a charming cover of one of Martins’ songs, ‘Isn’t It Strange’.

Prior to ‘A Message To Austin’, we get a fitting tribute to the late Akira Toriyama, where the audience is coached into paying respect to the Dragon Ball creator by letting out a collective “kame hame ha!”. This is just one of many instances where the crowd shows their engagement, while Thundercat shows himself to be a bubbly, nerdy and adorable presence.

It’s this type of energy that makes the show fly by. We get our encore, “No More Lies,” played without a Tame Impala appearance, and before you know it the show’s over, a collective exhaustion felt from the constant laughing, singing and dancing. If you’re looking for mellow, easy listening that will occasionally push you to caper, it doesn’t get much better than a Thundercat performance.

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Ameena Ceesay

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