Live Review from Underground 104:
3. Laung Gavacha
4. Listen (to Each Other)
5. The Cuckoo
7. Aaja Nachle
8. The Power of One
ReOrientate is no stranger to me, having seen them on more than a few occasions, and stands out musically compared to pretty much all the other bands which have played the Underground, for the group would not be out of place playing in the auditorium of the City Hall during the Hong Kong Arts Festival. The music/set could only be described as “world fusion”, being more or less equally Flamenco and Sindhi oriented with a sprinkling of Chinese influence, played out on instruments ranging from ancient China to modern Cupertino, with a Flamenco dancer to boot! The set started with a short seductive Spanish number, which left the audience, who probably was not expecting anything like it, completely gobsmacked – you could see the look of intense focus on their faces., and continued with a set of which completely mesmerised the entire Hard Rock from start to finish.
I do not, as a rule, talk about the instruments of a group, however, I will make an exception on this occasion, since the mixture is a key to making ReOrientate such a delightful act, and clearly a lot of thoughts has gone into achieving that sound. An erhu, a guzheng, a flamenco guitar, and percussion playing against backup tracks, add a vocalist with a phenomenal voice, accompanied by the dancing and clapping of a Flamenco dancer, gave rise to a performance that led the audience by the nose from start to finish.
Live Review from CD 5 Launch Party B:
1. Uskudara (unplugged)
3. Kya Hei Yeh Jadoo (unplugged)
4. Percussection (unplugged)
5. The Cuckoo Says (unplugged)
6. The Power Of OneWhat to make of ReOrientate? Let’s start with the good: A truly mighty voice with both soul and an edge. Great drums and rhythms: right for the room, right for the music. Surprising and arresting flamenco-influenced dancing (think the Happy Mondays’ Bez meets Natalie Portman). While a melting pot of cultures is clearly their bag, however, I’m not sure the arrangements did justice to the Chinese instruments, or vice versa. The result came across, to me at least, as tokenism. And a bit of the Bollands’ self-deprecation wouldn’t go amiss.But with slower numbers rounding out the full-on productions, it was an ambitious set from an ambitious project altogether. Mostly successful and always entertaining. I bet their school or college mates hate them.
— Paul Mottram