House of Shem @ Subnine in Wellington
19 Nov 2006 // A review by johnsoncraigsbc
Sub nine is a youth friendly venue which has a tendency to make gigs feel like fourth form dances. Don't ask me why. Although I don't think fourth formers would've reacted too kindly to the absence of a Crazy Frog playing DJ in place of the great 'House of Shem’
The all class roots band from Wanganui took us back to basics with some classic roots beats that reminded me of a relaxing, sunny afternoon fishing in my fathers’ canoe (although this is an experience I have never had).
Standing in the VIP area side of stage gave me the best view in the house, so I could see the flow of energy the bassist had. I never new a big man like him could move in such a groovy way, which was cool because it definitely rubbed off on the other members of the band in a positive way.
House of Shem played some really catchy songs and it was awesome when what seemed to be the resident rapper joined them on stage for a few songs and really jammed out some good tunes. There is only one thing I have a problem with in roots music, and that is the way in which a lot of the guitarists seem to return to a generic, high pitched chord progression. It can sometimes be effective in creating a certain tempo and mood in a song, but it seems in this case it has not been as effective.
The highlight of the performance for me was the young keyboardist side of stage. His natural talent and musicianship could easily be overlooked, but I’ve chosen to highlight it in this case because I believe he has the most potential out of his fellow band members. His control of the keys accompanied the rhythm of each song perfectly and he has a definite natural vocal ability which, if nurtured in the right way, could become great.
I would attend another House of Shem gig in the future, in the hope that they really hone in on each of their positive attributes and push them to their limits. I am confident that House of Shem will aspire to great things, and I look forward to the success and distribution of their music.
About House Of Shem
House of Shem hail from Aotearoa, New Zealand and like many legendary reggae groups this band is built around the classic harmony trio format. At the helm is Carl Perkins, a man with over thirty years experience writing and playing reggae music. As a former member of Herbs, Mana and The Twelve Tribes Of Israel amongst others, Carl’s musical credentials are impeccable.
Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for House Of Shem
Joining Carl are two of his sons Te Omeka and Isaiah who not only provide harmonies and play keyboards, they are both lead vocalist and composers in their own right. It is this blood link and family bond that renders the sum of their combined voices as something really extraordinary. Each of the three has their own distinct song writing style and voice, effectively giving the band three lead singers. The harmonies are sublime and the precision of their ensemble performance is phenomenal.
House Of Shem’s long awaited second album Island Vibration was recorded in 2010 at Auckland’s Roundhead studios. The band enlisted the engineering expertise of the legendary Mr Errol Brown. Brown is renowned for recording and mixing albums with the best in reggae music including Bob Marley & The Wailers, Burning Spear and Third World and has worked on Grammy award winning albums by Damian Marley, Julian Marley and Lauren Hill. Island Vibration was then mixed at Bob Marley’s own Tuff Gong studios in Jamaica by Errol Brown. Island Vibration was released on 14th Feb 2011 and debuted at #1 on the Official RIANZ NZ Charts and iTunes.