INCOGNITO Live Concert 2011: The Report

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After waiting for about 3 months, finally we’ve come to the showdown! Yes, this is the report of the spectacular Incognito Live in Concert 2011, a show that was promised to be the biggest Incognito concert to date. Up until the last hours we still got many calls asking for the ticket. For at least one month the hype has been grown bigger and better until it reached the peak on the D day, April 29, 2011.

On TV we saw that England was celebrating the wedding ceremony of Prince William and Kate Middleton. As they were approaching the Buckingham Palace, here in Jakarta, a legendary group (or should we call nation) from England was ready to do some action in a couple of hours, accompanied by some of our own jazz funk/soul/groove bands including The popular Barry Likumahuwa Project and the soul sister Lala Suwages. Some of the listed local bands  failed to perform due to some reasons.  Dira Sugandi who has been connected to Incognito for some time especially with the brain Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick was set to join them too on this special occassion. Besides preparing the party under one groove nation, the committee also planned for a charity cause. No less than 10% from the profit will be given to Yayasan Pita Kuning Anak Indonesia (YPKAI), a foundation that works fully to help the kids suffering from cancer in Indonesia. Incognito Live in Concert 2011 wasn’t just about having fun and enjoying a huge party, but also about caring and giving to others.

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Incognito is simply one of the all time most phenomenal bands that will always stand as an example of the great stories of UK music scene, at least during the last 30 years. Many of us have grown up with their music and still love them dearly until now. Many of the great soulful UK artists come and go, many of them lived short and gone not long after receiving their success, but Incognito has endured the rapid changes of music, they are still standing strong against the test of time. Today, Incognito is still a highly popular band all around the world. For 30 years they have been giving the wonderful music to entertain us, that said with creating a unique British sound for us to love, and the good news is they are not over yet. They still have many things to give. For that, we have no doubt that we will listen to Incognito for a long time to come.

Incognito (6)Jean-Paul Maunick, the motor of Incognito who’s better known as Bluey found UK live scene as his inspiration from the start, after he came to London from his homeland Mauritius at the age of 10. One day he sat with Paul ‘Tubs’ Williams, his partner in Light of the World and Tower Block. They decided to do something new by having all different team. “I formed Incognito because I really wanted to take the British jazz funk to the next level”, recalled Bluey. The scene of British jazz funk had actually created a scene to an extent but later it all stopped when punk came along. Bluey wanted to bring it back and brought it to the next level. Their chance came when Chris Hill signed them under his label, Ensign. The first album “Jazz Funk” was released. It was an instrumental tour de force with many guest musicians participating in it. After this album, Tubs and many other core members went into separate ways. Incognito suffered a long hiatus, until the band finally released their second album “Inside Life” ten years later. From there, Incognito was unstoppable. They released new album almost each year and created so many popular hits such as “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”, “Still a Friend of Mine”, “Deep Waters”, “Where Do We Go From Here”, “Smiling Faces”, “Nights Over Egypt”, “Always There”, “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” and many more. More than dozen album has released from the first one Jazz Funk until the most recent one, “Translantic RPM” (2010).

With his Incognito, Bluey has triggered the acid jazz movement along with some other jazz funk groups back then such as Brand New Heavies and Jamiroquai. With a very big ship consists of many members, including tons of them come and go, Incognito has become not just a band, but it’s more like one nation under the groove. Thanks to Incognito and some other sustaining acid jazz/funk band, the groove is well kept alive and will still live on for more years to come.

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Taken place at Istora Senayan Jakarta, the groove was started right at the lobby, where a mini stage was set to hold the emerging groups. Speak Easy was the first band to start the groove for this special occasion. Soulful with chunky guitar sound, they delivered the kind of pop jazzy groove on their original songs. Not long after that, the main stage got Lala Suwages and the full band including drummer Sirhan Bahasuan and saxophonist Ditto Pradhana spreading soul straight to the audiences. Applauses and cheers were given to her and the band after each song. She led the whole band to give “Biarkan Cinta Bicara”, “Soul Clap”, “Langkah Baruku”, the popular hit “Nada Kasih” and closed it with “Tanpamu”. Having Lala Suwages as one of the Indonesian All Stars was just perfect, since she managed to set the soulful groove mood before the main event.

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The stage then blasted with the highly popular Barry Likumahuwa Project starting with their anthem “My Prayers”. Appearing full team including Dennis Junio (sax), Donny Joesran (keyboard), Jonas Wang (drum), Henry Budidharma (guitar) and of course the vocalist Matthew Sayersz. They brought a lot of fun by playing songs from both albums, the Good Spell and the most recent one “Generasi Sinergi.” This title track was brought gloriously featuring Pandji Pragiwaksono on the rap part. As usual Barry threw a lot of jokes and stories from the stage. By doing so, he bridged the connection between them and the crowds, letting the audiences to be involved directly with his gig. Barry Likumahuwa Project brought some of their hits including “Mati Saja” and the cover of a song recently repopularized by Rihanna, “Please Don’t Stop the Music.” Clearly it was entertaining for the audiences as they were really into it from start to finish.

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And the moment all’ve been waiting for had finally arrived. Incognito appeared with their most recent formation. Besides Bluey himself, this time Incognito brought Matt Cooper (keyboard), Fransesco Amendolia (drums), Julian Crampton (bass), Jamie Anderson (saxophone), Sid Gauld (trumpet) and Alistair White (trombone), plus the vocalists Vanessa Haynes, Lorraine Cato, Chris Ballin and also Dira Sugandi.
Starting with a song taken from the new album, Translantic RPM, called “Roots” with Vanessa in lead vocal. The band carried on with “Labour of Love” (Chris Ballin), 1975 (Lorraine Cato) and “Always There” with Vanessa back on lead vocal. “Parisienne girl” from the first album Jazz Funk came next after Bluey shared the beginning of Incognito. They carried on with “Good Love” (Lorraine), “Lowdown” (Chris and vanessa) and “Talking Loud”, this time with Dira joining the Incognito.

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A surprise came in when Dira took over the Incognito’s gig for a while and sang “Hand on Your Heart” accompanied by Matt Cooper on keyboard. One of their famous hit “Colibri” followed right after. Let’s see how the set the hall for a while. The lightings were beautiful, with 2 big screen on the left and right and four squared LCD box which had a screen in each side far above on the ceiling. The back wall contained four piece of white clothes that kept on projecting illustrative images from time to time.

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Incognito (11)Bluey gave a little speech while the rest of the crew stood in one straight line. “We’ve just came back from Japan..just like you, they just experienced earthquake and tsunami.” he said. Then he gave a song that we all know so well, “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout the Thing” performed by only Vanessa and Matt’s keyboard. The way they did it was really touching and inspiring at the same time. As how we got many emails stating how this song has motivated many of the fans over the years, this time they brought it for real right in front of us. Bluey then did a fast move by bringing another huge hit, “Still a Friend of Mine” that made the whole room sang and grooved together. Bluey stepped forward and did cool rap, while the band reshuffled their positions by changing their instruments to one another. This surprising move received applauses by the crowds. It was time to have Incognito’s touch on funkin’ the Brazilian sound. “Espresso Madureira” was done remarkably well.

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Incognito (18)Not planning to slow down, Bluey then shout: “Are you ready to party?” The crowds blasted as they went even hotter with the widely known “Nights Over Egypt”. Dira also joined the party and showed that she could reach the high notes perfectly just like the other female vocalists of Incognito. The temperature was rising even more when they threw “Reach Out” in medley with “Everyday”. Once again Dira showed how high she could go and made everyone popped big time with it. The horn section were also had lots of fun by dancing on the left side of the stage. The confetti started to fall down from above, not only on stage but also throughout the hall, showing that it was the climax of Incognito’s party vibes. “Thank you for inviting us, we really feel like home”, Bluey said before he introduced the whole band. Not just mentioning the name, but also the country they came from. There we could see that Incognito is a multi national band that consists of world talents.

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The crowds absolutely didn’t want them to stop. The “We Want More” chants were all over the hall. Responding to the request, they gave one last party with bringing “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout the Thing” once again. This time this song appeared in gravy soulful funk. Everyone knew this would be their last chance to savor the Incognito’s live performance, so everyone sang together and clapped their hands.Incognito (9) Their trade mark “One Love” played on while all the band members waved goodbye and left the stage. If usually the show ends after the main performer, at the Incognito Live Concert 2011 the committee still featured one last party courtesy of DJ Nino Bali on the right stage. The burning pyro-technic decorated his performance as the breakdancers from Jump Suit Rush East danced inside a circle made by some crowds.

When TMW and Shark promised a grand Incognito live concert to hit Jakarta, they really meant it. As a result we got a tremendous high dose of funk spread like a virus to everyone who came to the show. Even after the concert ended we still nodded our head and sang their songs. We spotted many happy smiles came out from the audiences’ faces. In the end, Incognito has dropped the funk bomb with serious groove radiation spread wider than the hall. We will still affected by it for a long time to come, but we are happy with that. Thank you INCOGNITO for “coming back home” in the big way, thank you for giving us one funky’ party that won’t be easily forgotten. Big thanks to TMW and Sharks for making the dreams come true. Hope to have more amazing party from you again soon!

See more pictures:

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Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Ata Michaella, Febrian Dirga, Muhammad Fadhly
Photographer: Omar Arif Maulana, Dwi Ratri “Momoyo” Utomo

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