Montreal Jazz Fest – Chin Chin

Sach O likes Brooklyn band! Alert the Press! Are Chin Chin the best contemporary funk band on the circuit today? In a scene so amorphous as to run from indie darlings Hercules and Love Affair to...
By    July 10, 2009

Sach O likes Brooklyn band! Alert the Press!

Are Chin Chin the best contemporary funk band on the circuit today? In a scene so amorphous as to run from indie darlings Hercules and Love Affair to Meters revivalists Baby Charles to Wu-Tang disciples the El Michels Affair, it’s hard to make a definitive claim, but last night Def Jux’ best kept secret made a strong run at the title over the course of their two outdoor sets at the Montreal Jazz fest.

Unleashing a wilder, rawer version of the smooth-R&B that kept their under the radar debut buzzing, the band may have done the impossible by updating post-disco funk without falling victim to cheesy jokes or bookish recreation. Opening their second set with a cacophonous psychedelic intro and proving that noisy psychedelia is no excuse for indie bands unable to play their instruments, Chin Chin progressively grabbed the ears, feet and hearts of the 1000+ outdoor mob and didn’t let them go until their time was up. To put it in perspective: it’s one thing to rock a crowd that came to see you and its another to make a few converts out of a receptive audience, but shutting down the MTL jazz fest from a small stage and inciting full on crowd participation and dancing? THAT’S showmanship.

Front-man Wilder Zoby brought his A-game, commanding the crowd with an energy and charisma belying his clean cut hairdo and pink shirt and his onstage antics from humping the stage to absolutely killing the talk-box made even the unfunkiest of festival goers take notice. By the end of the set, damn near the entire street was dancing leaving those who stayed for the late show, sweaty, satisfied and remembering their name. Two things are for sure: they’re worth every penny live and if ever I fall into some cash I’m roping these guys to play my wedding.

Chin Chin – Dontchusee

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