Kelis : Lokeren, Belgium Town Festival
Back with new material, and a more sober barnet, Kelis is still toting thrilling sci-fi r&b...
Not that Kelis has suddenly forgotten how to deliver the dumb POP goods, far from it. The finale of forthcoming, soon-to-be huge single 'Young, Fresh & New' and 'Caught Out There' is visceral, life-affirming stuff that's easily as good as anything Destiny's Child have ever done. But the best thing is that that's only a small part of the Kelis live experience. Most of tonight's set is a million miles away from the slick, produced-to-perfection R&poppin'B that seems to be everywhere these days. Instead, Kelis' ten man band lock into an organic funk groove that, especially on the oriental-flavoured 'Mafia' and calypso-heavy newie 'Lil Suzy', proves hard to resist. The nearest reference point is perhaps Guru's Jazzmatazz, but then without the muso leanings and with a young Dinah Washington on vocals.
It's not all good though. The less-than-enthusiastic response of a rained-on audience visibly bothers the entire band, who never really seem to give it all they've got. There's a very real sense that, at not one point tonight, Kelis realises her full potential. Imagine if she does. She'll be flying.
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