If you crossed Nina Simone with the unique Australian band Hiatus Kaiyote, then the result would perhaps sound something like the band ROHEY.
Jazz, neo-soul and music with a connected passion were projected on stage in Stockholm when I saw, for the first time, the four-piece Norwegian band Rohey.
Rohey consists of Rohey Taalah: Vocals, Ivan Blomqvist: Keys, Kristian B. Jacobsen: Bass and Henrik Lødøen: Drums.
They may still be young, but they were keen to show they are already fully skilled musicians with dexterous piano solos and beat thumping drum exhibitions.
The band is named after the lead singer Rohey who’s short cropped hair and vocal style echoed the US Blues/jazz icon, Nina Simone. The similarity was also reflected in her performance style – Rohey simply commanded the stage.
Her fingers twitched suddenly between songs as if a tremble of excitement and pulsating energy was running through her veins searching for an escape. It’s was a small detail, but the vibration echoed across the small underground venue as we tuned into her vibe.
For those of us who were now on her wavelength also picked up the poetic flow of the lyrics.
Chorus lyrics such as “These are The footprints we leave, are you proud of them?” , eloquently delivered, is just a very small example of the thoughtful verbal breeze I was swept up in, and I’m keen to read their lyrics when published. Not many bands have demanded my lyrical attention recently.
Rohey’s presence was clear. All eyes were on her, and all ears were on the band.
Somehow this felt old school. A throwback to the days of a dynamic band with an engaging singer.
Young people especially should take note.
Music is alive outside the internet, and Rohey is keeping it real.
*Concert 10 September 2015 at Pet Sounds Bar, Stockholm, Sweden. For photos click HERE.