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Reggae fusion band Mangoseed performs at Off the Cuff February 23rd

By Ryan Hogg

A multicultural genre-blending band is heading to Lambeth this month for a night of dancing, joy and energy.

Mangoseed, formed more than a decade ago in Covent Garden and headed by Nicholai La Barrie, released their latest album, Dreamers.

The band weaves punk, reggae, jungle and rock through the member’s Jamaican, Trinidadian, Australian and Irish heritage to create a unique, countercultural sound.

Mr La Barrie, 43, who is the vocalist for Mangoseed and assistant director at the Lyric Hammersmith, said the band’s multicultural origins help them break new boundaries with their music.

Mr La Barrie said: “We like to let the song do what it wants to do and we don’t try to stop it from going in any direction.

“Sometimes you would have drum n’ bass drums with a reggae bass line and a rock guitar on top of it.

“Those aren’t all supposed to make sense together but it does.”

Mangoseed Band

The single released with the album, Empire, tackles imperialism, which La Barrie said shaped each of the band members.

Mr La Barrie said: “Things that hurt are what I write about. I grew up in the Caribbean – I am a child of colonization.

“I’m a black man who lives in a place far away from his ancestry because of slavery and the more I look at the world, the less it seems fair to the majority of us.”

Alternative Facts is a pointed reference to the age of disinformation made prominent during the Donald Trump presidency.

He said: “I like watching how people manoeuvre in the public eye, and how so many people in charge are really not fit to do that at all.

“To me the phrase ‘alternative facts’ was the epitome of the wealthy and the elite’s mentality to be able to change the name of something and rebrand it with a nice phrase to keep us sweet.”

Mr La Barrie promises Mangoseed’s live show later this month to be a transportive, high-energy experience.

He said: “It’s about bliss and enjoyment, it’s about making people dance, jump up and down and have fun.

“We want that time with us to feel like a release, to feel like a gift, to feel like joy and beauty.”

“We want you to leave us feeling like you have had a full meal.”

Mangoseed are performing at Off the Cuff in Herne Hill on February 23.


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