Extra Golden Live at the Cooperage, Albuquerque | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Extra Golden

Extra Golden Live at the Cooperage, Albuquerque, May 19th, 2009

May 26, 2009 Photography by Matthew Vanek Extra Golden
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Extra Golden played a steakhouse in Albuquerque last Tuesday night while Japanese cult rockers Ghost played at the hip rock spot downtown. I prepared for the worst: overweight New Mexicans stuffing their faces full of porterhouse and mayonnaise-thick “salads” while the Kenyan/American band gave it their all. My fears were not alleviated when we pulled up to the restaurant—a place nestled between car dealerships and perfect for prom night. I feared for the band, having traveled halfway around the world to play for five people at prime rib city. These are the kinds of shows that make bands pass over Albuquerque on their next tour.

I shouldn’t be such a cynic.

The band had already started their set when we reached the stage. A decent-sized audience was in attendance, most at least nodding their heads or tapping their toes. There was even a small group of people dancing. I’m not sure how many had drifted over after dinner and how many had come specifically for the show, but it doesn’t really matter. People were there, enjoying the ridiculously smooth benga guitar and relentless drumming.

The band’s set drew heavily from their latest album, Thank You Very Quickly. That album has proven the band to be more than a cross-cultural, thesis-spawned experiment as the songs demonstrate an emphasis on groove. Their live show offered further proof of the cohesion the band has achieved.

Singer Onyango Jagwasi was thoroughly entertaining and provided the flow and interaction the mostly unacquainted audience needed to get into the music and guitarists Ian Eagleson and Alex Minoff rocked intricate, interwoven guitar lines. The real treat for me was watching drummer Onyango Wuod Omari provide “lead” drums to most of the songs. While the guitars and bass held down the rhythm, Omari often escaped the structure of the song only to come back into the beat with a beastly drum fill. His lead vocals on “Ukimwi” were equally impassioned.

The only band on the bill, the show was over by 9:30 p.m., which left us with more than enough time to catch Ghost with the rest of the rock‘n’roll kids. Seeing Extra Golden was a rare treat in a town like Albuquerque and a lesson that you should never judge a venue by the size of its salad bar.



Author rating: 7/10


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