By Lachie Simpson

I first found Sampha through his run of features on SBTRKT’s self-titled debut album. His distinct voice drew me in and I spent the next six years waiting for his own debut album, I chased every feature. I frequented one video the most, an acoustic version of an unreleased track played on a rooftop garden somewhere in London. Even stripped back to its most simple version, the track was captivating.

Sampha’s set started with stabs of bass synth and stomps of kick drum shocking my chest in an unfamiliar rhythm. Effects pads whirred and the pitch was modulated to create high tension, until the keys came in and I recognised immediately they were playing ‘Plastic 100°C.’ This is the song I listened to on repeat all those years ago. ‘Plastic 100°’ is a track about pressure, feeling like plastic melting in heat. The drawn out intro conveyed this feeling perfectly as the crowd adjusted to the insane level of bass being produced by the sound system. Beyond the sophisticated on-stage production, Sampha’s vocals were something to behold—it’s rare to hear a singer who sounds better live than in their recordings.

All of the songs from Sampha’s debut album ‘Process’ were totally reimagined, with changed keys parts, new verses added, drawn out intros, or just completely different instrumentals to the recorded versions. One of my favourite moments in the set was when the band moved over to a drum circle, they were playing so in sync with each other, bringing an energy into existence that everyone in the crowd could feel. Sampha and his bandmate’s energy was palpable, providing a cathartic and spiritual experience for the crowd. I left the show in awe of Sampha’s talent and the musicality of the band.

By Pelican Magazine

Pelican is the second-oldest student publication in Australia and the only independent paper at UWA. If you like having opinions, writing, drawing, and/or free tickets to local events, then Pelican is the place for you! We print six themed issues a year, and run a stream of online content.

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