In the underbelly of a sweaty 100 Club, Ibibio Sound Machine are killing it. A crowd surprisingly diverse in age, they prove that it’s not only your twenties that are for dancing. The booty shaking, hip swaying and downright spine tingling motions make for a night they won’t soon forget; even Eno Williams is dabbing away beads of sweat.
The setlist is populated with old hits and a host of new content. Their self titled album is referenced through the classic ‘The Talking Fish’ and ‘Let’s Dance’, whilst the most recent singles from their upcoming album ‘Wanna Come Down’ and ‘Tell Me’ go down a storm. The middle chunk of the set is bravely used to premiere never before heard sounds from Doko Mien.
One track that stands out in particular is ‘Know You’re Thinking About Me’. Angelic in white, Eno’s voice takes to the sky, the vibrato journeying through each audience members’ soul. Anselmo Netto’s fingers run gently through the twinkling bar chimes, whilst the song slowly crescendoes. Refraining on the title, the room builds into a slow climax, climbing a mountain of sound at an excruciatingly slow speed, to reach an oasis of pleasure. It’s like nothing we’ve heard from them before, evidence that the new album is an evolved Ibibio Sound Machine.
Whilst the crowd recovers, Eno asks “Shall we go on?” to raucous responses in the affirmative. ‘Tell Me (Doko Mien)’ rouses the room from its spiritual ascent, bringing the dancing vibes back into town. The bridge showcases the frontwoman’s true skill, a wide range of notes hit with such accuracy it almost becomes inane. She teases the crowd during ‘Come On Down’; “Someone’s yawning over here, you’re bored already? Okay, Okay!”
The rhythm of ‘Trance Dance’ escalates to an obscene pace; whilst the band exit the stage to their adoring fans they are literally fanned in the face to cool down. The encore is of course 2018’s ‘Basquiat’, rousing the crowd with its screeching keys. As they slow down, Eno introduces the members of the band with a slow drawl, and a woman from the audience is brought onstage to take a turn at the percussion. Amongst shoutouts to devoted fans and happy birthday wishes, it’s a show where everyone feels part of the coolest family on earth. As the audience pours out of the venue into the street, sweaty yet sated, all we can think is: bring on the new album.