Bonobo at Rock City

Bonobo works his magic in unforgettable Rock City gig

British DJ Bonobo delivered a mesmerising display of lights and sound at Rock City on Sunday, May 8 as he prepared for his ground-breaking Royal Albert Hall residency.

At a sold-out Rock City, the 46-year-old, who hails from Brighton but now lives in Los Angeles, was as multi-dimensional and humble as ever, ably supported by his band and singer Nicole Miglis.

The gig formed part of a Europe-wide mini-tour of album ‘Fragments’, which was released in January this year and features more diverse collaborations than the DJ has ever previously compiled.

It’s fair to say the night lived up to expectations, too.

With an excellent set by support act Jacques Greene establishing the clubby tone of the night with hard-hitting basslines and an incessant light show, the crowd were fully hyped up.

Bonobo – real name Simon Green – arrived with his guitarist, drummer, keyboardist and saxophonist alongside Miglis, and soon the collective set about putting fans in a trance.

Bonobo behind the decks and Ewan Wallace on guitar as they play Nottingham, the final date before their Royal Albert Hall residency.

Every changing beat and rhythm were perfectly judged, with the balance of slower, more mellow songs and authentic club anthems exquisite.

Bonobo has few DJs on his level with such an eclectic range of influences, and his expertise showed in a night that had his unmistakable touch all over it.

The mix of jazz, strings, his box of electronic tricks and a heart-aching vocal performance created an atmosphere that was at times serene and others pulsating.

With Miglis departing after four or five songs, the rest of the hour-long showcase featured songs that prioritised saxophones, guitars and drums in a perfectly judged cocktail.

Rock City’s lighting department must be praised too, for their skills only elevated the music into an almost ethereal experience.

Singer Nicole Miglis
Singer Nicole Miglis, who also performs vocals, piano and flute for the American band Hundred Waters.

An encore that extended almost to half an hour was magical too, with all the contributing parts of the night brought back for a celebration of what had been a special night all around.

Bonobo begins his Royal Albert Hall residency tonight (May 16), running all through this week to May 20.

It will cement his reputation, and given the nature of his Nottingham performance, should dazzle and delight audiences in the grand old venue.

All photos courtesy of Will Hugall.

Many thanks to Ninja Tune for inviting Platform to the gig as well.

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