New York Shine

Sultry, sexy, and a little raw...

Gerald Simpson, a.k.a. A Guy Called Gerald, ends his five-year drought on new material tonight by performing to a packed house at Shine in New York City, where Simpson now makes his home. Finley Quaye is supposed to share the bill tonight, but as Simpson later apologises, he couldn’t make it.

The announcement comes at the end of the evening, after Gerald‘s brother, David, more than adequately fills in.

The 80-minute set features live vocals, drums and bass, and relies heavily on tracks from ‘Essence’, the new GCG album scheduled to release on August 28. Wendy Page and David Simpson take turns at the mike, with Gerald the captain of the many-knobbed ship.

The gig draws a diverse crowd, a rainbow of New York’s hippest. Almost everyone is holding a free cocktail, courtesy of Tanqueray London. The drinks are a fitting accompaniment for much of ‘Essence’ which is sultry, sexy and a little raw.

At times, the music slides into the background, as on soulful tracks like ‘Humanity’, ‘Fever (or a Flame)’, ‘Universal Spirit’ and ‘Could You Understand’. Then it rushes back, rattling the tiny club’s rafters with earth-shaking bass. A ragga number skitters in; deep house grooves shuffle out. Then there’s ‘Voodoo Ray’, the acid house anthem that thrills the crowd immensely.

And, finally, in Gerald‘s words, it’s “peace out”.