Snarky Puppy – KOKO, 14 March 2013


Tonight, KOKO played host to Brooklyn-based band, Snarky Puppy: these guys have exploded in England in the last few months following their sell out London Jazz Festival debut in November 2012 at XOYO. Tonight KOKO is absolutely packed, with every type of person in the crowd, from groups of hipster teenagers to pensioners. First on is Mancunian jazz trio, GoGo Penguin. Their explorations into drum ’n’ bass and other urban influenced music made interesting listening, but you couldn’t help but think that the E.S.T. style jazz trio just wasn’t the right support for fusion monsters Snarky Puppy.

As soon as Snarky Puppy stepped on to the stage the atmosphere in the room flipped. Their ability to play to a crowd is incredible, having the whole room singing along and taking part in the performance. Led by bassist Michael League this nine-piece powerhouse lay down over an hour long set of seamless groove. The composition and arranging is impeccable, creating boundlessly interesting pieces that take the listener on a euphoric journey of hip-hop, funk and jazz. The concert was recorded by BBC Radio 3 and will be played on Jez Nelson’s Jazz on 3 on the 8 April at 11pm. If you missed the gig, catch it on the radio – I know I will!

– Tim Doyle