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Review: Shlomo & The Lip Factory - Union Chapel, London


Last night the Union Chapel saw the launch of a brand new EP by Shlomo & The Lip Factory - a powerful human machine of 7 unbelievably talented beatboxers and vocalists. Headed by Shlomo – the ‘World Loopstation Champion’ (yes, there is such a thing!) – the audience stared open-mouthed as tracks ranging from the 1960s to Dubstep, complete with instrumental refrains, percussion, bass and vocals that all came from the seven people stood in front of us armed with nothing but microphones.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when first turning up for this gig. However, it soon became apparent that we were here to witness something very special. It began with a short introduction by Shlomo as he talked us through the basics of beatboxing – air, teeth lips, throat etc. Basics covered, he quickly began to combine them, weaving complicated beats around a bass pattern produced in his throat. It’s easy to be awed by the obvious co-ordination and skill that must be involved in this unusual talent, but I found myself amazed by how he clearly understood how his sound works – he twists and moves the microphones around his body to trick and deceive our ears into thinking we are hearing different sounds.

After his brief solo introduction ‘the Lip Factory’ join him on stage and this is where things really start to fly. If we were impressed by just one man and a microphone, the presence of six more provides endless possibilities and they do not disappoint! Their strength lies in reproducing well-known hits, anything from Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin to hardcore grime and bass. However, not only are they talented artists but they also show a flare for writing original tracks. Their track “Got Your Mind” makes full use of their vocal range with an impressive skipping loop provided by the talented Triple B (aka Billy Benjamin Boothroyd).

The group are captivating – the way their whole bodies move with the music can’t hide just how much they love what they do. They don’t just perform; they live and breathe the beats around them. You can’t help but like them, there aren’t any signs of ego, in fact they seem quite shy when not performing. The vocals from the girls give a new depth. A particular mention should go to Alyusha Chagrin, her rich sultry voice oozes sex appeal as she dominated the stage in her solo numbers.

If you get the opportunity to see this then go – just go! Beg for tickets if you have to, you will not be disappointed! There’s nothing else like this out there and this is what makes it easily one of the best pieces of live entertainment London has to offer.

For more info, dates, download EP etc visit Shlomo's website -  www.shlo.co.uk


Melissa Phillips


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