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Herbaliser Tuesday @ Babylon


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Who are the Herbaliser band?

The herbaliser band are a group of nine young players that joined forces with uk hip hop producers jake wherry and dj ollie teeba. back in 1995 at the time of the first herbaliser lp "remedies", ollie had been touring as a dj to help promote the album. jake was quick to point out that djing was not the only (or most effective) way to maximise the potential of the record. enter the band... hornists lamb and ross, aka 'the easy access orchestra', and fellow sessionistas chris bowden and matt coleman formed the brass frontline, with kaidi 'shocka' tatham on classic keys. moody and dawes joined wherry's bass to provide the rock solid rhythm section underpinning teeba's scratches. and so the herbaliser band was born!

What do they sound like?

for those having never been to a herbaliser show, it is a 'live' representation of the instrumental cuts from their lps.

But its different. How?

When they first started working together as the herbaliser, jake and ollie knew a few musiciansand precious few mcs but knew their sampler intimately and refusing to acknowledge those restraints, set out to become 'hip hop instrumentalists'. as time went on and subsequent lps were recorded collaborations with rappers became more frequent, in fact they began to make up about fifty percent of the content. unfortunately, due to their own career committments mostly, the rappers were unable to join the herbaliser's gruelling tour schedule. no problem! by the time jake and ollie were working with vocals the band had already performed several shows and was getting things locked down very tight indeed! also they were developing sounds. due to the improvisational nature of the performances, the tracks that had been adapted from the lps were changing, growing, mutating from the basic sample/break compositions into fully fledged 'big band' pieces.


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Yeah... lot's to do on a Tuesday.....

The Mike Stern band is very expensive @ $35 a head. Will be an awesome show though.

I'm curios to see what Reggae night will be like. I plan on dropping by on my way to Babylon for a couple of $2.50 drinks and to see if it is the same band as last week.

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S-Whore, its tomorrow night mon! (Wednesday). If all goes according to plan, I'll see ya there.

Thinking about arriving early and seeing DJ Serious' set too.. Anyone seen DJ Serious do his thing before, or know anything much about him?

The Natural State are playing tonight in Hamilton too!! I'm a goin. They're from Guelph, they're really good, they're friends of mine. They do about half originals right now and half covers (they always tear apart First Tube).

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Guest Low Roller

So I ended up going to Babylon for Herbaliser completely by accident.

I had no plans on going out last night, but it was hard to turn down a private party at Barrymore's.

While there I heard rumours that the Herbaliser show was sold-out, and the huge line-up outside seemed to indicate that.

I left Barrymore's and attempted to get into Babylon around 11:30. Got in with minimal wait. I have NEVER seen Babylon so packed. A quick estimate had the crowd at 500, on a Tuesday, in Ottawa, with a huge cover. What the hell???

Herbaliser is a 6 piece band on the Ninja Tune label (thanks for that info RanchStaffer). Basically if somebody's on that label, you know they are money and will deliver a strong show. These guys did exactly that.

My first impression was a slowed-down Moses Mayes with a phat drum and bass beats.

Double B made the good point that all Moses Mayes songs sound the same, but Herbaliser changes the sound for every song. True.

Also, the small contingent of Sanctuarians that was there all thought that the songs were cut way too short. The song would continously build until it reaches a peak, from which they just should've dropped it into a crazy beat and blown our minds, but instead they would just end the song. Boo. Then again we're just all used to long drawn-out jams that go for ever.

I left the show early, but I still got a good feel for the band, and would highly recommend them for anybody who enjoys the jazz-funk-scratch style of music.

I'll give the show 7 nugs out of 10.

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Herbaliser rocked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was completely blown away by everything last night. I remember talking with Adam at Babylon earlier this week and he was concerned the show might not do so well...... holly shit.... he was one happy man last night, there had to be no less than 400 @ $25 each.... I'm glad this show was as sucessfull financialy as it was musicaly, hopefully that will encourage more of the same.

Herbaliser was sick..... A different level of funk... a whole different breed of hip-hop.... and as mentioned above... NOT a jam band! They worked us up soooo much.... built us into a frenzy of madness with their deep funk, dance beats and mad scratches...... peeking.... peeeking... peeeeeking..... then right at that climactic moment, they pull the plug.... At one point I thought Jaybone was gonna cry.... he was ready to loose his shit.... turtle head was out! Then they pulled the plug... oh man the look on his face was one of pure horror, yet it made me laugh.... "no, NO, NO, You can't end the song like that!" he screamed....

Despite their habit of keeping all the songs under 6 minutes, Herbaliser was an awesome experience and I would recommend them without hesitation.

You soccer freaks will like this. In order to get Herbaliser to do their encore, the 400 people in the bar erupted into this "yo yo yo" soccer chant... it was loud! and spooky.... but it worked as the encore was 3 songs....

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herbaliser was awesome.. though the heat was a bit much especially if you tried to get a close look.

lowroller i think the show ended about 1:20 - 1:30... pretty early i thought. and you cant beat the roots manuva high grade rolling papers they were passing out..

thanks to jaybone and stapes to getting me to the front of the line with there bouncer hook ups..

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