I ran out of work, excited for the night ahead at the Art Factory. It was the album launch for SOUL-FI, the debut record from Space Invadas.
The night kicked off with Koolism, the supporting band of the evening, a little before 9pm in front of a demographically diverse crowd, ready to party on a Thursday night. They mixed it up between new and old tracks, positively setting everyone off into a frenzy of supportive screams and dancing. DJ Danielsan, one half of Koolism, scratched records like the pro he is, reviving what sounds like the late 80’s underground hip hop that once dominated the scene.
The great thing about Koolism is the fact that they do go back to the old school but also incorporate the ‘new school’ sounds (mainly your fusion and off beat rhythm) that command the current trends thanks to the likes of Flying Lotus, Cut Chemist and Aim. Hau worked the crowd and really is amazing at what he does both with his lyrics, and counterpart Danielsan. Their stage presence was mind blowing, once again cementing themselves as hip-hop legends.
After a few beers and some wicked tunes, Space Invadas came to the stage. The crowd was pumped and ready for more. The lighting washed the Art Factory with blue to reveal the 5-piece band donning Star Wars masks, with storm troopers, Darth Vader and others present. Vocalist Steve Spacek (who has been championed by Giles Peterson from BBC1 as the “voice of modern soul”) let those famous vocal chords soar in what was an amazing set of soul and hip-hop.
The masks were removed after the first song (which I am imagining was with a sigh of relief; that stage is quite warm on a packed out Art Factory night) and the crowd responded with the same enthusiasm and joy that was generated by their supporting band Koolism. This same enthusiasm was present throughout the whole show, affirming that Both Spackek and Ashley Anderson (Katalyst) have made Space Invadas an incredible collaboration that no one will forget any time soon.
Overall the night was unbelievable, despite being ridiculously tired and dreading the 6am start in the morning, I was blown away by both live performances and the vibe that was generated by these two remarkable groups.