Much has been made in the press of the fact that lounge drum and bass maestros obedientbone, supposed country bumpkins from the deepest depths of Dartmoor, are making cutting edge dance music, and since they released their debut LP obedientbone in June of this year they have been painted as an oddity hailing from country fields. However, with much so called “urban” music is being made in the west country, with Aphex Twin, PJ Harvey, Beth Gibbons all coming from and working in rural areas, the anomaly is surely the term “urban”.
To complement obedientbone’s excited debut LP reception, they were, in June, the recipients of the Diesel U Music Award for best urban music, which is quick work by anyone’s standards (even country folk), and their gig in July at the awards ceremony has concreted their reputation as the dance act to watch.
They started the set with the cool and charismatic Lost It, and as the atmospheric introduction swooned and then crashed in, the audience knew they were there to witness something special as they buzzed with anticipation. Demelza’s vocals excited by the occasion led the way as the throbbing bass, and keyboards provided beautiful backdrop. As the tweaks and turns of white noise from programmer supremo James Yardley enveloped with Demelza’s sweet vocals, unharnessed and free, this moving and mashed up beat tune whooshed down and enveloped the braying audience.
Can I Just Say started all swish strings, looped and hinged, and as the gorgeous manic bass of Richard Austin propelled the ambience, Demelza’s stage presence flew to a new level as she moved, trip danced and swayed to the meyhemed beats. The woman was enjoying herself and it caught like wildfire as Demelza double tripped the lyrics and gorgeous melody in Aware.
Chlorine hit it slow and moody, sparse chorus intriguing. Demelza swayed and her siren sang “I reach for some reality but all I see is my dignity leaving me”. Not tonight: The chorus rose and took the band into a glorious mayhem much more raw than on the LP and all the better for it, excited and fiery. This led the way smartly for the introduction of the mad MC Darrison, as the heavy bass introduced his double quick flip times and cool rapping. This tune oozes class, cool and catching and the audience grinned with glee.
The final tune, Little Bit More ended the set on a seriously off kilter high. Demelza at first oozed loach vocals, only to hit it very hard with mania half way through. The drum and bass pounded and the effect was exquisite. The audience swayed and jittered with the jazz sensibilities and changes of time in this punching, manic melodic tune, and they willed it to go and on. The gig didn’t unfortunately; it was a too short set at only half an hour. However, you know a band is special when the melodies catch like wildfire, and air is thick with glee and freedom of movement. obedientbone will indeed go on and on, and up and up. Supreme.