Friday, April 04, 2008

A Little Slice of Brazil in Brighton

Cibelle, Komedia, 3rd April 2008

The first time I heard Cibelle was as a random recommendation on internet radio player Last.fm. I was immediately taken by her distinctive voice, and the chilled Bossa Nova vibe of the song Train, which brought back happy memories of Brazil. So when I saw she was coming to Brighton, I immediately thought of my friend and travelling partner Ezinda, who until very recently had been living in São Paulo, where Cibelle is also originally from. She was up for it, so we arranged to meet up beforehand for our first proper catch up since her return to the UK. Laughing about our Brazilian exploits last year, and planning (less exotic) adventures for the summer put us well in the mood for some nostalgic tunes. The husbands and some other friends joined us at Komedia, and we grabbed a table near the front, expecting it to be quite a mellow affair.

Having seen photos of the pretty Brazilian singer looking sultry in a 50s style floral frock, we were surprised to see her come on stage in a bizarre ensemble that can only be described as a (possibly non-ironic) tribute to Dexy's Midnight Runners - *huge* baggy T-shirt over garish leggings, accessorised with an excess of big scarves, and finished off with a trilby, perched jauntily on a mop of wayward curls. Sideways glances ensued between us all, as we waited to hear what sort of sound would come out of this eccentric looking creature. Glances turned to raised eyebrows as she launched into a totally unexpected experimental electronica intro, the like of which I haven't experienced since I sat open-mouthed and bemused at a Nobukazu Takemura gig at the Old Market a few years ago.

Mercifully though, the rest of the set was closer to what we'd been hoping for - an interesting blend of Latin beats, jazzy vocals and some well-executed live sampling. All credit to Ant for coming up with the phrase 'bossatronica' which perfectly describes the result. It was never quite upbeat enough to get up and dance (though a couple of drunken girls did manage it), but there was plenty of foot-tapping, and even some enthusiastic audience participation at various points. An initially wary audience seemed to warm to Cibelle as her set went on, and by the end we were all whooping for more.

Continuing the Brazilian theme to the evening, we all went for a post-gig caipirinhas at In Vino Veritas, a relatively new wine bar/bistro in the North Laine. There aren't too many places around that area that are open for late night drinking, so it's the perfect spot to roll onto if you're hyped from a great gig at Komedia, and not ready to go home yet. Even the Cachaça Queen herself was impressed at the standard of the cocktails, and especially the fact that the staff were happy to make off-menu drinks for us, so we'll definitely be going back there again.

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