MUSIC: Beatbox reigns supreme at a super, mega good night

WHEN two men and a flute can make as much noise as Fabric on a Saturday night, you know you are in the presence of a rather unique talent.

Super Mega Ultra, at Brighton's Komedia on Thursday, brought together the best of the improvisation scene, in a fusion of turntables, guitars, beatbox and violins.

Topping the bill was beatbox phenomenon Beardyman. First up, he joined forces with Nathan 'Flutebox' Lee, who was featured on Channel 4's RudeTube last month, showing off his rather special skill of beatboxing through a flute.

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Beardyman and DJ JFB's much anticipated set was affected by sound problems, but not soured as the two kept us entertained with tunes and weird noises, culminating in a venue-wide chorus, of "boo to the soundman", all in good nature, of course, until the dodgy sound was fixed.

And it was worth waiting for. DJ JFB records Beardyman's beats and soliloquies, using time coded vinyl, and mixes it back into the real-time beat, so in effect you are listening to Beardyman's mind-blowing vocal skill blended into itself. Watching JFB do this is itself awe inspiring, and you have a job to catch his fingers moving at all as he blends the two together.

If you can't imagine Nirvana's Nevermind played on a fiddle and mixed into Acceptable in the 80s, you have never seen Fidgital.

The act took to the stage early on, and really set the scene, mixing classics, including the Knight Rider theme and the Jackson Five, into dirty breakbeats and drum and bass anthems, with the sound of the fiddle ever present.

Festival mash-up maestros, the Kleptones, took the gig into the club night hours, with their blend of classic tunes and hip hop beats.

Super Mega Ultra did have its flaws, such as the sound problems already mentioned, and an ill-informed decision to let one of the barmen take a turn on the mic, resulting in a 10 minute rap and more than a few stunned faces, (but a resounding round of applause never the less from the friendly crowd), but overall it was a celebration of doing things differently.

And that is what Brighton is all about.


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