POW Negro left witnesses in shock on last month with an incredibly aggressive Money For Portraits single release show. The Fremantle six-piece totally absorbed an unusual crowd of all appearances to get down to their mix of nu-jazz and hard rap. Emphasising their psychedelic take on jazzy hip-hop; a haze of red lighting and a sheet of colourful visuals made for a trippy aesthetic.
Previously a psychiatric hospital, the limestone walls of the Fremantle Arts Centre set the scene for an insane night for lunatic front man Nelson Mondlane to exhibit the originality of the band. He had no problems keeping crowd moral high with his intense character, full-body dancing, and infamous zebra stripe pants.
Funky guitar riffs, hip hop drum beats, and Kaprou Lea’s smooth sax improvisation had listeners bopping from all corners of the historic arts center. Interestingly, a sample machine was employed throughout the set adding a layer of electronica to the rawness of kit beats that consisted majorly of snare, kick, and rimshots. The combination of individual talent is exactly what makes the sound POW Negro are so notorious for.
Mid-set, Nelson made an emotional plea for supporting acts Ziggy and Henry Kissinger to join POW onstage for some freestyle. Ziggy worked seamlessly with Nelson’s intensity, pumping up the crowd with air-punches and chants. All three impressed the crowd with a collaboration that worked a little too well; we can only hope for future work featuring all three artists together.
Keep POW in your sights, because they are going to explode. It’s been lovely seeing their names on plenty of festival lineups in the last couple years, but they are seriously due for a biggun’ of a record signing.