Nicky BombaNicky Bomba is more than a musician ('though he's a hell of a musician). He's a charismatic entertainer.

Time was and, maybe, still is, when that might've been regarded as a sleight, since one was assumed to detract, necessarily, from the other. But let's think about the music he plays: African; Orleans; jazz; reggae; ska; mento. With the possible exception of jazz, in which he only appears to dabble to a minor extent, it's music meant to get you out of your head.

The small, but immensely committed crowd at The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, certainly seemed to get that, imbibing the vibing, on the dancefloor, for the best part of the night.

It started on a somewhat more reserved note, with laidback support Vorn Doolette. He's supported Lior and it's easy to see and hear why that would prove a good fit. His songs are quirky, funny, charming, gentle, inventive and inveigling. I can well imagine whiling away hours, drinking in his personality, stamped distinctively and indelibly on his poetic, if slightly inscrutable work. He falls comfortably into the reinvigorating 'and now for somebody and something completely different' category, in the best possible sense. One to watch, but, moreover, really listen to, which is no effort, given his velvety voice. Lovely guitarist, too! Of course, if you're a festival junkie, you probably already know him and his band, One Night Jam, from their many and various acclaimed performances in that realm.

Heard before seen, Bomba emerged from behind a pillar, with his primal drum under his arm. Chanting & weaving his way to the stage, he segued to the kit, at which he pounded out an intercontinental solo. Bomba is all about roots, down to his boots.

Introducing his empathic, most excellent cohorts, bassist Barry and drummer George Servanis, he launched into a tireless performance of good-natured songs, which could even survive without words, as the feel is so intensely satisfying. This is pre-pasteurised music, the real deal, fat & juicy. One gets the idea Nicky could save the world, by making people dance. And I do mean making them. It's practically irresistible: an almost impossible feat of anal self-discipline would be required not to move, just a little. Any Cronulla riot, last night, would've been the positive, upbeat mood, the collective smile on the collective dial of revellers, infecting formerly mean streets with happiness. If anyone, or thing, can bring world peace, it's Bomba and his music. So, instead of a full-on drinking or other binge, or two aspirin and a good liedown, I prescribe, say, a little Chop Chop.

The three of 'em, working the room, tapping out a multi-layered rhythmic storm, on glasses, bottles, tabletops and more, was a feat of showmanship, borrowed, perhaps, from John Morrison's bag of tricks.

But the hardest thing Bomba had to do, all evening, was avert his gaze from the good time girl, leaning onto the stage, with her physical rendition of 'I've Got a Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts'.

Nicky Bomba
‘Jah In The Moment’ Tour

Venue: Brass Monkey | 115a Cronulla St. Cronulla
Date: 10 Jul 2008
Tickets: $13 presale and $15 on the door
Bookings: and Ticketek

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