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Live Review: Thundamentals, May 24 @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on May 29, 2014

With Clancy Gibson

I’ve never been that taken with hip hop. Yet I couldn’t help to notice that name, Thundamentals, popping up all over the Aussie music scene. So after a while my curiosity got the better of me and before I knew it, I was counting down the days until the release of their third LP, So We Can Remember.

Needless to say, the album is leap forward for the band and for Australian produced hip hop and rap. It’s a beautiful amalgamation of genres, beats, samples and guests talents. What the album doesn’t grasp is Thundamentals’ contagious energy, which can only be experienced at a live show. The boys jumped around on stage with the stamina and elasticity that I thought only children possessed, and the crowd followed suit.

Thundamentals were introduced to the stage by a jazzy live trumpet and a deep bass heavy drop from Morgs. The crowd swayed with anticipation as the speakers gurgled and quivered. Tuka and Jeswon came bounding onto the stage, sending the crowd into a flurry of excited cheers. “There’s no where else I’d rather be right now,” Jeswon confessed, as we howled with delight once again.

Even if Thundamentals are not your cup of tea, you should see them live. I can say with confidence that everyone at the Metro Theatre went home with sore throats and aching limbs. The boys know how to keep you engaged. Catchy lyrics, potent beats, live brass, powerful verses and some pretty sick visuals make for a lively show. Within ten minutes, I was bobbing around with fists and peace signs in the air, alongside everyone else.

Yet it’s not all giddy beats that will have you bounding. Thundamentals take their music to another level by rapping about social and politically charged themes. Sending a strong message to the crowd, lyrics were spat out with unparalleled speed and vigour. The tension was thick surrounding protest songs, a clear reflection on the current state of Australia. A powerful “Fuck Abbott!” chant received a thunderous response from the entire Metro.

It’s clear that Thundamentals have a love for incorporating many genres and musical experiments to their unique sound. To me, it seems like they’ve combine what I would consider ‘classic’ hip hop with jazz, soul, dance, with even a few orchestral samples thrown in for good measure. What I loved most about this performance was the constant stream of guests that came to perform, adding their own flavours to the tracks. Each guest was introduced as a friend, including Ev Jones, who belted out beautiful chilling vocals for a cover of Matt Corby’s Brother, and Thom Crawford helped round off the show with a brilliant performance of the triple j favourite Something I Said.

Thundamentals have given all rap lovers out there a good reason to stop associating Aussie hip hop with lyrics about VB and BBQs. Their fan base is only growing larger by the day – and nothing shows it more than the fact that this was a completely sold out tour.

Going to a live show, you can see why Thundamentals are a voice many can relate to. From having a bitch about your boss to cheekily pulling references to popular culture, they’re playfulness and powerful live performances have won them many fans.

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