Just having received the brand new Ida Nielsen CD in the snail-mail on the day of the gig, I barely had enough time to listen to it, before we had to drive to the venue. But from what I heard, it sounded great. More of the stuff from her first 2 albums and perhaps the most mature and consistent album ever from Denmark's funkiest girl slammin' a bass.
We got to the venue and listened to the first few songs from the support act Mingo Fishtrap that was utter shite. Seriously, I've heard high-school bands that sounded better without even having played together before. It was dreadful. Even from the lobby they were a horrible pain. Jebus Christ.
It was a totally mixed up crowd that had shown up on this night. From young kids to older women. I'd like to say the core was the usual Prince suspects, but I'm not sure if half of them were fans of the horrible support act, and maybe also some fans of LoveShop. All in all it was a great and interesting crowd on a Monday night. Everybody was there to get funked up, and getting funked up we got, when Ida took the stage.
It was my first Ida gig (apart from seeing her with Prince several times of course), but I've been listening to her albums for years, since she joined Prince's bands in 2010. This gig was mainly focusing on the new album "TurnItUp", and the band did an excellent job at bringing the sound of this album to the stage using a band with BASS!!, guitar, keyboard, drums, rapper, scratching DJ and even guest stars on vocals and saxophone. Well, I was impressed. I had never imagined they would be able to hit the album sound that well on stage, but they really did.
Ida's music is obviously funky, but it is also soulful and actually very varied and a mix of many genres. The band had lots of fun on stage and they jammed their way thru it all. Ida Nielsen did well as bandleader, not afraid to talk to the crowd and she certainly got some hardcore bad-ass funky bass parts smashed into our faces here and there. She is totally deadly with a funk bass, and her brand new signature bass looked mighty fine and shiny on stage. Ida also played keyboard on a few songs. I was surprised to hear that her high-pitched rap voice was a perfect copy of her voice on the albums and she also handled more soulful songs very well.
One other musician to mention is obviously the guitarist Mika Vandborg. While he sounded a bit weak in the beginning on the pure funk stuff, he played some smashing and heartfelt rock guitar later on. While Prince could and did do anything on a guitar from funk to rock and beyond, Mika surely did very well and is a great player in this band. It seems that both Ida and Mika are using equipment from TC Electronic, so I guess that explains how they got connected.
Sometimes it all went a bit too far though. I get that this type of music needs to be rather loose and with much freedom, but on at least one song the DJ was allowed to go too far astray and it lost any momentum. Guest vocalist Gull-Mai had a weird introduction on stage where she did human "jungle-sounds". The use of rapper Kuku Agami exceeded the limit. Some rap is fine, but too much rap becomes, well, too much. The secret is to get the mix just right. And they did that with the saxophone guest player, who joined in on 2 songs. Too many horns sucks, but just the right amount of sax rules!
Some highlights to remember (sadly I don't have the setlist to refer to):
From "Marmelade" we got "Mister Magic" dedicated to Kuku Agami and "Booyah" that was an attempt at activating the Monday crowd.
From "Sometimes a girl needs some sugar too" we got "Discumbobuloveulong". It was totally funky and absolutely hilarious too! (I wish she'd played "Cowboysong" and "Rubber toy in my bathtub" too. Those are favorites of mine.)
From "TurnItUp" we got a lot of songs. "Heart of Stone" is not the typical Ida funk-slam, but it is a truly brilliant and very catchy song. I love this one. "ShowMeWhatUGot" is not Ida's best funk-attack imo, but it gave place for a bass blast, and it's a song that has an interesting way of messing with your brain, so be careful to listen to it for too long, hah! "Fatty Papa Eddy" was dedicated to the "Fatter Eskil" venue in Aarhus, that apparently means a lot to Ida. It's a funky tune, so we just followed along. Guest side-kick Gull-Mai took the stage back in one of the last songs, "Free UR Mind". She totally stole the show there.
Ida said she didn't play any Prince tunes live for personal reasons. I think we can all understand that very well. We are all still suffering from his untimely death. Time will heal, and I hope Ida will pick up a few Ecnirp tunes later on, when more time has passed. After the gig, she was up for selfies and autographs, but we chose to hurry home instead. Monday night gigs are very hard to handle when you have to go to work the next morning. The joy of slavery, but hopefully next time.
Intro, U can't fake the Funk, ShowMeWhatUGot, Bass Interlude (BassInYourFace), I really think UR Cute, Sometimes a Girl needs some Sugar too, Fatty Papa Eddy, Throwback, Mr. Magic, Time, I don't need You, Ready for this Thing, Heart of Stone, Sorry, Feed Me, TurnItUp, Booyah, Please Poppy, Free UR Mind.