Live Review: COOL OUT SUN @ The Gasometer, 12.10.18

Cool Out Sun album

Cool Out Sun: Album Launch

The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood

12 / 10 / 18

Words by Sammy Perryman

Friday saw the release of Cool Out Sun’s much anticipated self-titled debut album, and an equally anticipated album launch party at The Gasometer. For those unfamiliar with Cool Out Sun, they are an afro-funk supergroup consisting of Sensible J, N’fa Jones, Lamine Sonko and Nui Moon. Separated, these musicians are already some of the most influential names in Australian roots and hip-hop music, so when combined only good things can come – and they certainly did.

Cool Out Sun where joined by a full entourage of supports. First up was Sudanese-Australian MC P-UniQue. Despite her considerably early 9:30 slot she still managed to capture the attention of a growing crowd. Her word-play was tight, lyrics were honest, and her beats were hitting hard while remaining very danceable. By the time she was finishing up on ‘Queen with Colour’ it was pretty clear that, despite only stepping into the scene a year ago, P-UniQue is a name you should remember.

OG Kush and Stacey Gardiner were next, delivering some improvised Hip-Hop and Jazz grooves that really made the crowd get down. At this point the band room was well and truly packed – the show had sold out before the gig, even selling out a second time after more tickets were made available. Despite the tight squeeze, making it pretty hard to manoeuvre around at times, everyone was pretty respectful of each other’s space. N’fa himself touched on this while on stage, speaking on how the music you make attracts certain crowds, and the Cool Out Sun crowd was simply lovely; no dickheads in sight.

In between sets Melbourne rapper Remi was getting behind the decks, spinning a mix of some of the most profound and underrated black artists throughout the decades. “DJ Remi” was quite the curator, and I really hope he does it more often.

By 11pm, it was time for Cool Out Sun to take the stage. It was pretty safe to assume four legendary artists taking the stage together would be nothing short of mesmerising, the energy between the Fire Four was insane, and the crowd was absolutely there for it. They played through the just-released album in whole, with some extra Sensible J jams sprinkled in, with Remi also jumping on stage at one point.

Two standouts were ‘Plabba’ and ‘Fire For (Fire Four).’ Plabba, which N’fa explained was a Krio expression for trouble or violence, explores N’fa’s parents’ hope for peace, with insightful lyrics and a beautiful rhythm. It was one of those performances that scarily sounded exactly like the recording, demonstrating just how tight of an act these guys are. Fire For, as anticipated, went off. It was at the tail-end of the show and everyone on stage was in their element, especially N’fa who rapped so fast people in the crowd were literally getting dizzy from spinning their heads to his flow.

All in all, it’s hard to find a fault in such a talented group surrounded by such a kind crowd. Other than the packed band room making it hard to see and move at times, it really was a flawless gig. Also, props to whoever was in charge of the projector visuals, that was a dope.

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