Ahmed Gallab, better known in the music world as Sinkane, was at Elsewhere in Brooklyn, NY for an early performance on Friday in front of his hometown friends and family. The performance marked the latest stop on the guitarist and singer’s current summer tour promoting his new studio album, 2019’s Dépaysé.
This album cycle has Gallab once again performing and touring alongside Elenna Canlas (singer/keyboards), Jonny Lam (guitar), Michael “Ish” Montgomery (bass), and the newest member of the group, Chris St. Hilaire, who fans should recognize as the drummer in The London Souls alongside guitarist Tash Neal.
The show opened up with the lively beat of “How We Be”, with the band taking the stage (and room) flooded in a vibrant and mesmerizing abundance of psychedelic color courtesy of Lance Gordon, who operates The Mad Alchemist Liquid Lite Show featured at jam band-themed events around the NYC area. The band continued with lively renditions of “U’Huh” and “Favorite Song” from 2017’s Life & Livin’ It.
Sinkane’s music pulls heavily from afro-funk, fuzz rock, and psychedelia (Gallab is a proud Deadhead), and all three were perfectly mixed on this night. Gallab’s love of afro-funk was more than evident as the show continued with “Stranger”, a new song off of Dépaysé. Sinkane’s lyrics, especially within the new material, are filled with optimism and hope, strength in coming together, and rising up from oppression. Gallab isn’t shy about sharing support for his family living in Sudan, where chaos currently fills the streets of a country attempting to rid itself of a brutal military regime. The following songs, “Everyone” and “Everybody” further echoed Gallab’s encouraging sentiments of peace, acceptance, and unity.
“The Search” opened up heavy–like Rage Against The Machine-level heavy. The performance of the new tune had industrial-sounding strength to it, but not too heavy that you couldn’t dance along with it as it changed rhythms throughout. The performance of “Dépaysé” also opened up to allow for the first real guitar solo of the night courtesy of Lam, who stirred up a fury of distorted notation to dance atop the big and beautiful organ chords being pumped out of Canlas’ keys. The music continued with a brief group jam, and out of the madness unfolded a moving but strong cover of Neil Young‘s “Down By The River”.
The set then livened up with the afrobeat rhythms of “Rhythm Nation” and “Mango”, followed by Gallab’s new original anthem for his home country in “Ya Sudan”.
Scroll down for a gallery from Friday’s show, courtesy of photographer Tom Coyote.
Sinkane’s 2019 summer tour continues on Saturday with a show at The Red Room at Cafe 939 in Boston, MA. Head to the band’s website for tickets and upcoming tour info.