“I am pondering the world we are in and looking at the chaos and uncertainty of it all. And in America, where once Martin Luther King dreamed, it feels like that dream is lost to tyrants, racists and sexists, emboldened and loud. But it’s only love that will set us free.” Nicholai La Barrie, vocals, Mangoseed.
As a new year unfolds to an increasingly troubling socio-political backdrop, London roots-rockers Mangoseed face up to the fear and hate with a homage to love in all its forms. Celebrating the influence of song as a means of protest, empowerment and unity, frontman Nicholai La Barrie delivers his proclamations by way of a potent vocal melody atop the quartet’s heavyweight alliance of enormous bass, ethereal guitar and classic dub in the tradition of Black Uhuru, King Tubby and Mad Professor, all driven by the percussive thrust of rastafarian Nyabinghi rhythms.
Defying the populist idiot-men in seats of power from eastern Europe to Italy, from Brazil to the White House, Mangoseed place their faith in truth and in youth, as revealed in the audio clip that closes ‘Still Believe’, which was produced by Sam Dyson at Free House Studios, Bristol. “I see hope in the youths,” says Nicholai, emphasising this parting shot. “I see the hope in me singing our truth into existence.”
Hailing from the cultural and creative melting pot that is England’s capital city, Mangoseed comprise four musicians of Trinidadian, Jamaican, Australian and Irish descent. Perhaps no surprise, then, that this multinational troupe produce an enthralling fusion of global sounds, mashing up ska and soca, dub, jungle and funk, rock and punk, all of it high-energy and unfailingly danceable. Originally formed by vocalist Nicholai La Barrie and guitarist Karlos Coleman, Mangoseed became a fully functioning act via the additions of Richard Hardy on bass and Sam Campbell on drums, configuring a pulsating punky-reggae repertoire that was captured on their self-released album, ‘Basquiat’, which earned impossible-to–nail-down comparisons ranging from Bad Brains to Massive Attack.
What everyone can agree upon, however, is the thrilling energy of Mangoseed’s live performances, regularly delighting a loyal fanbase around and beyond the band’s Brixton homes. The enthusiastically received 2017 singles, ‘Lucy’ and ‘Jah Jah’, only increased the intensity of the Mangoseed appeal, and more recent studio sessions have spawned further killer blasts of of urban-jungle skank, which will take the form of a set of singles, as well as a full-length album, as Mangoseed prepare to make a mighty impact on the soundscape of 2019.
See Mangoseed Live:
May 17 – Off the Cuff, Herne Hill, SE24 London
May 23 – Bussey Building, Peckham, SE15, London
June 29 – Luna, Leytonstone, E11, London
June 30 – South Norwood Festival
July 27 – Luna, Leytonstone, E11, London
Aug 24 – Big Feastival, Udder Stage, Cotswolds
Aug 31 – One Love Festival, Kaya Stage and Encona BBQ Session, Maidstone