On Sunday November 8th 2009…Rotown in Rotterdam was most definitely the place to be. Everybody who happened to be there is still buzzin and for those of you who missed out…I have taken upon myself the heavy task of informing you of what you missed out on.
I have to admit I wouldn’t have been there myself if somebody hadn’t told me about Mayor Hawthorne. In most cases I don’t judge a book by it’s cover…but in this case it was quite unexpected that “the nerdy white guy” on the CD cover would slap me around with some Curtis Mayfield and Smokey Robinson inspired soul music. Of course nowadays there are quite a view retro-soul revivalists like Raphael Saadiq, Amy Winehouse and Jamie Lidell or even Joss Stone. But what makes Mayor Hawthorne stand out from his competitors is that every track he wrote for his latest release “A strange Arrangement” has such an authentic feel, if you didn’t know any better you’d think it was a CD full of covers from the sixties. Not only did he truly manage to grasp the sixties sound but he was also able to capture the sixties spirit. Every track has exactly the right amount of soul ingredients to have you dismiss any connection to the year 2009.
With all of that being said…I expected a laid back and rather smooth concert with a tranquil atmosphere. Very much like the CD I had been listening to for a while now. But a few minutes before the concert I overheard the sound check and I immediately realized that this was going to be something else. Since I’m midget size the only way for me to see whomever the hell is playing…is to be way in the front. Given that Mayor Hawthorne was completely sold out…I had no choice but to get in early. Being early has it’s advantages and one of them is that your able to get a sense of the crowd. In this case it was a very diverse one. Let’s just say that everything from nerd to b-boy or girl was represented!! But whatever the flavor everybody had one common ground…Mayor Hawthorne. The other advantage to being early…the truly magnificent funky spinning session with an electronic twist provided by THELONIOUS and LUCKYDUBZ.
After the pleasant warm-up it was time to get started and so it did. Everybody went wild when “The King of Nerds” and company started playing. The laid back, smooth and tranquil atmosphere was there when he sang “I wish it would rain” but for the most part it was a regular up tempo Motown soul festivity. The County proved to be a perfect addition to the Hawthorne sound and when they started teasing the audience by playing a house version of “Just ain’t gonna work out” then broke it off and decided to do a little metal riff then broke it off again only to hit us up with the reggae version…they went from perfect addition to ultimate necessity!! Of course I should’ve seen all of this coming. Why??… No bona fide nerd accessorizes a three piece grey suit with awesome sneakers. Because of that and his superb sense humor…I’ll have to say I stand corrected the King of Nerds is now officially the King of Cool!!
If for any reason at all you missed out…reading all of this must have hurt. So next time just make sure you’re there!!
And next time will be 22th of November when Strange Fruit Live Presents Taylor Mc Ferrin.
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