Bertrand Langlois, AFP Every new Jamie Lidell album feels like a clean slate.…
- Posted on Aug 1st 2010 10:30AM by Dave Jaffer
Ben Trivett, AOL
Then, as if from nowhere, Lidell's keyboard player started playing 'That's What Friends Are For.' Unadorned, save for the keys player's brief Stevie Wonder impression, the impromptu song set everyone at ease. (It didn't hurt that the keyboard player resembled a white Stevie Wonder.) The intro inspired a clap-along and plenty of good spirits.
Technical difficulties over and done with, it was Lidell's chance to give the crowd what they were there for. And he did not disappoint.
Emerging from the wings wearing some sort of multicolored bohemian chic poncho/jacket, the British-born, New York-based soul singer brought perhaps too much energy to the set. The five-member band launched into a full-on funk jam and Lidell matched their collective energy with his own. As if powered by a nuclear reactor, he wailed, gesticulated and half-danced through opener 'The Ring,' rising to physical crescendo whenever he got to hit the song's killer refrain (and its various permutations): "She was just a dream / He was just a dreamer."
Upon finishing 'The Ring,' off his latest record, 'Compass,' Lidell went backwards in his catalog and continued with 'Another Day,' the lead-off track from the 2008 release 'Jim.'
The high point of the set was certainly when Lidell and company returned to 'Compass' for 'I Wanna Be Your Telephone,' introduced by Lidell as a song about "libidinous" something-or-other. If the song's focus wasn't apparent from that introduction, it certainly was via its delivery. Oozing sex and containing some supremely thick and chunky electro-bass fuzz, this live version of 'I Wanna Be Your Telephone' was at least twice as long as the album version (3:29) and at least three times as sinful, assisted of course by Lidell's onstage calisthenics.