Masego done killed the game at Shepherd's Bush Empire, supported by R&B singer Iyamah
Having loved Masego’s previous releases, particularly The Pink Polo EP with Medasin, we were buzzing for his new album and tour. Lady Lady expands on his fusion sound with new singles ‘Old Age’, ‘Queen Tings’ and the title track, which were all going down an absolute storm during the live show.
Before we saw the musician perform we were mesmerised by his support act Iyamah, it was just her and a guitarist doing their thing. Iyamah was an excellent choice to open for Masego, with her cosmic soul and hip hop style seamlessly building to the headliner. The singer had pitch perfect vocals (not one note was missed) and an endearing stage presence. Iyamah had the whole crowd swaying from side-to-side, with her most well known tracks ‘Cryptic Love’ and ‘Silver Over Gold’, getting the audience in the mood for a boogie.
Masego had a grand entrance to ‘Tadow’ (originally an FKJ collaboration) with his saxophone kicking in as he walked on stage, to an audience that were clearly big fans - everyone lost their minds! The crowd were one of the most invested I’ve seen, with the balcony view at Shepherd’s Bush Empire providing a great view of both the stage and everyone else grooving.
The band were very playful with each other on-stage, Maxwell Hunter (bassist) was pulling some of the best faces and slaying those phat bass lines that make Masego’s tunes so damn funky. Keyboardist Daniel Foster was often mocked by Masego, their rapport made for some light comic relief, winding him up by questioning which song he should do next (he kept changing the setlist up).
The drummer (Jonathan Curry) seemed to be loving life, like a child who has been allowed to play on the drumkit for the first time, except with incredible talent and skill. Backing singers Jo Queenton and Amal Marie were clearly having a lot of fun too. It’s a shame that the sound for their two mics was not loud enough to hear them singing, this frustratingly seems be the case at O2 venues, a bit too often...
You always know when Masego is singing on a track and he sounded as good live as he does on the records. The singer looked so chilled on-stage, clearly a natural environment for him to flourish in, with a backdrop of simple and sleek visuals. Some older bands should take note of this, instead of getting “detailed” but tacky graphics which look like an old PowerPoint, sometimes less is more - especially in HD.
The band covered a huge amount of ground, including a medley from The Pink Polo EP, songs off of Masego’s first release, along with plenty of fresh tracks from the new album. The penultimate number for the saxophonists second encore was his remix of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Senorita’, which went down a storm. Masego’s skills and unique fusion of styles show that he is an instrumentalist and composer befitting for a modern, technological era - watch this space...