The Noisettes and Fate
I discovered the Noisettes while blog-surfing a few weeks ago. The blog (sorry, I forgot the name!) posted the music video to their single “Never Forget You,” a fun soul-infused rock song with a vintage ’60’s feel. The lead singer (and occassional bassist), Shingai Shoniwa possesses a unique and captivating sound, a vocal lovechild of jazz singer Blossom Dearie and neo-soul legend Erykah Badu set to thumping rock.
Intrigued, I decided to see if I could catch them live. Luckily, I discovered they were playing an August 3rd show at Santos’ Party House, their second New York Gig of their current tour. One could describe the events that followed as a series of fate, or weird yet consistent strokes of luck….
The day leading up to the concert I was anxiously excited about it. Although I just became acquainted with the band, I really liked the songs I heard so far and really dug Shingai’s look. She wears this trademark bouffant, Victorian-esque Afro and has a really cute, square, pouty face that reflects her intriguing Zimbabwean and English heritage. I love it!
When the time finally arrived, my friend Delwin and I decided to walk from the Broadway-Lafayette station to reach the venue. Upon walking, and talking about how excited we were, Delwin suddenly stops and says “Hey! There she is!”
Shingai was standing at the corner across from where we were, with her signature hair and all. Of course we approached her and asked for a picture. She was so nice, and was surprised to know we were just about to attend her concert. She even complimented me on the green jumper I wore. It was completely surreal!
The show was really fantastic. Ms. Shoniwa is magnetic, completely commanding the stage like a seasoned vet. She actually has been in the music industry for quite some time, beginning with a band called Sonarfly. The experience shows, as she pounced, prowled and posed on stage like a rock goddess. The audience was transfixed.
Not to be out-shined, the rest of her band, drummer Jamie Morrison and guitarist Dan Smith along with two backup singers, kept up with Shingai’s every note, offering a heavy dose of frantic yet polished rock.
Delwin, his friend Matthew and I were right in front, so the whole concert felt especially up-close-and-personal. Of course, considering what happened before the concert, there were moments we just knew she was singing to us. This was confirmed near the end, when surprisingly, in a fit of bad-ass excitement, she jumped off of the stage and into my arms! No lie!
At the concert’s end, still reeling from what we saw, heard and experienced, we decided to linger around a bit, taking pictures, dancing, acting like fools, etc. Before leaving, who do you think we spot again? Shingai, fresh off the stage, standing near the bar! We approached her again, lauded her with praise for giving us a concert-goer’s dream, asked for an autograph and generally looked like slightly fanatic idiots. It was fantastic, and she was incredibly chill, down-to-earth and super-sweet.
I would say it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but, considering the hands of fate, I wouldn’t be surprised if I ran into her again!