The Phenomenal Handclap Band

Coalition, 12 March 2010
The stage at Coalition doesn’t seem big enough for this ‘uber-cool’ eight piece band from New York. They get everyone rushing down to the dance floor in a matter of seconds when taking to the stage. The Phenomenal Handclap Band are like an infectious piece of New York noise mixing funk, soul, dance, rock and Brazilian beat as well as modern day disco and electro. Their driving rhythms get everyone in the audience moving around and gives us the remedy we need for our winter blues.
Not only do they sound tight as hell but they look like they just stepped out of a photoshoot for a trendy New York magazine. Producer, synth and organ playing frontman, Daniel Collas, has a striking moody stare, watching people in the audience and soaking up their energy. Vocalists Laura Marin and Joan Tick, expertly swivel their hips and make tambourine playing look sexy. Launching into their third song and new single “Baby”, guitarist Bing Ji Ling (which means ice cream in Mandarin), gets to show off his beautiful soulful rock voice. The combination of Bing ‘s Mayfield-esque vocals, his long wavy hair, fashionable beard and oversized 70’s glasses, fast tracks you back in time. The song that really gets everyone bouncing, is the instantly recognisable “15-20”, with it’s playground-style vocals.
It seems that the dance party may be over as the audience screams for more. Collas, surprisingly breaks into smile when he shouts: “I thought we were going down to the beach to beat up some rappers!?”. It may appear that the moody frontman does not take himself too seriously after all. The band launch into final track, ‘’I Been Born Again” with uplifting group vocals, Hammond organ playing in the style of Ray Manzarek (The Doors) and funky guitar sounds.
Tonight, the crowd at Coalition got to see The Phenomenal Handclap Band in an intimate venue, I predict, for the very last time. Brighton is the last date of their UK tour and the only other date listed on their MyPpace, is a support slot with the Gossip. I have a feeling that this band are going to be back over here very soon. Hopefully, we’ll be dancing to their infectious tunes while holding a pint of cider, in a field somewhere, in the sun.
Words by Nats Spada

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