Review: New Kingston @ Club Academy, Manchester

The soulful and energetic New Kingston brought the ever classic calypso sounds of Jamaica as they performed at Club Academy in Manchester.

This included modern twists while maintaining syncopated rhythms, keeping the crowd head-bobbing and swaying along to the music continuously.

The three brothers created an unbelievable performance during stage opening, what with the lights and ever so slight use of a smoke machine. The band’s electric introduction had everyone front and centre, ready to go.

Come From Far, one of the singles from their new album A Kingston Story: Come From Far, was an immediate people pleaser, getting not only the crowd moving but the band too.

READ MORE: Reggae act New Kingston chat to MM about their family ties 

The trio were seen to be thoroughly enjoying the music they delivered, being taken in by the soulful melodies and adding to the vibe of the venue.

Guitarist Stephen made sure to include the audience from the very start by inviting them to sing back certain lyrics to him, building up the intensity to an extremely high level, before delivering the crowd pleasing Protect Me.

The atmosphere was on fire. Couples were dancing near the front of the stage and an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness was felt all round, while father and bassist Courtney Panton Sr. looked over his boys with such pride and adoration.

HEART AND SOUL: The brothers are full of life and love

With energy levels buzzing, the band brought the intensity back down, in what they later referred to as ‘the rollercoaster effect’.

The crowd of about 150 people was slowed down to the more melodic tunes of Key To Life and Mystery Babylon.

The lighting changed and the purple coloured room became slow and relaxed, with a chilled blues undertone taking over.

From an upbeat sing along atmosphere, the crowd was transformed and swayed along to the strong, melodic and soulful voices of the three brothers.

The tunes continued to build up again and what was introduced as the last song, Kingston Fyah Dub, was filled with heart and soul from the musicians.

Drummer Courtney Jr. was seen standing up behind his drum set and dancing along to the music with the crowd before jumping straight back into his sounds, somehow delivering more feeling and beauty without missing a beat.

The energy of the room seemed to intensify yet again when the third and youngest brother, Tahir, brought out a keytar shortly after a strong vocal solo, and introduced some strong Jamaican calypso sounds.

The musicians onstage then enjoyed a tender family moment, dancing together and circling each other while the crowd got lost in the music.

The performance, which spanned three quarters of an hour, was full of life, love, heart and soul.

In a closing speech, Stephen said: “We are about progression, we are about family, we are about righteousness.”

Drummer Courtney Jr. closed the show by introducing his family members one by one, showcasing such respect and love for each one, who provided a solo piece on their specific instrument.

On speaking to one of the crowd members, MM was told: “Usually opening acts are a bit iffy, but they were so good!

“I loved how they introduced themselves at the end. I had no idea they were family, but it explains the connection.

“And one of the best things about the evening, was that you could tell that not only did the crowd enjoy the music, but the brothers did too.”

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