Earlier this year, Jinja Safari’s lead singer Pepa Knight took a step sideways and launched a solo career, developing an impressive amount of buzz in the process. On Thursday night, he brought his jungle-tribal rhythms to the Northcote Social Club. Having not heard his music before, I had no idea what I was about to experience but I found myself in the middle of a jungle of hippy bearded friends, embracing his worldy indian-inspired rhythms and sitar harmonies.
Although a solo act, Pepa Knight was joined on-stage with a small band that included a keyboardist, drummer, bassist and percussionist. He was also joined on stage by a number of friends who wore cellophane glasses and danced along to the lovely sweet songs. All the band members made an effort to impress us with their costumes. Pepa Knight wore traditional Indian dress, while the percussionist wore an orange Indian hindu priest dress and the keyboardist wore a large pointy foiled hat. It was clear that the band brought on stage with them their inspirations for the music they had created. It was different and I loved it.
Musically, Pepa Knight’s set was a fusion of jungle music, inspired by traditional Indian beats and rhythms, mixed with modern day pop. While this may sound odd, his ability to combine traditional and modern beats and rhythms is surprisingly organic and is expressed with such earthiness and love, that it just works. His songs inspire a state of presence and all the stresses of life fall away. It inspires expressive dance moves and general swaying cannot be helped.
I walked out of that gig having had a very different experience, and feeling pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed myself, and was whirled into a new genre of music that I previously had barely been exposed to. Pepa Knight is talented and his shows are something unique and special. When given the chance, definitely check out this jungle-indian inspired free spirit.
Check out the photo gallery HERE.