Just because it was Monday did not mean there was no room for a party. Those present at Botanique had well understood that. With both Magi Merlin and Noga Erez on the bill, a lot of people showed up to get a good start to the week. Not that their messages are necessarily positive; the ladies are protesting against covert racism, the state and people abusing you. Enough stuff for thoughts, and more food for good bars. Let’s hope these artists can bring them too!
The act of support for the evening is Magic (pronounced Madge-eye according to the internet) Merlin. The Canadian released his first EP three days ago Away girl out, which includes the songs “Milkweed” and “Pissed Black Girl”. She wrote the last song after realizing that all of her anti-racist allies were far more conservative than they would like to think. It makes it bump here and there. Fortunately, because in her songs, she strikes back even harder with beatmaker and groovy bassist Funkywhat.
The whole ep is full of confidence and pour, but it’s something that stays in the mix. The songs sound a bit boring and during the week on the recordings. Live, however, proves the opposite. We are not lying when we say that we stared open-mouthed at the energetic duo throughout the show. The extremely happy bassist stomps on stage like a bubbling raver and growls – in the most positive way – at the singer, while the serious vocal lines pump out of her lungs. And all while wearing a cross! Wait to listen: this is an action to watch live. Even better: to be blown away live.
It’s not like Noga Erez needs warm up, but Magic was far from over. Infused by the deep bass, the audience rests for a while. We wipe some salt off our foreheads and are ready for tonight’s second act: the Israeli Noga Erez. So from one powerhouse to another! This lady brings songs about oppression, big and small, and never misses the mark in her lyrics. She conquered the world last year with her album CHILDREN† On the front of that plate she is in an oversized suit. Not surprisingly, for that image, along with the title, describes the theme of the music, namely that adults are as much children as the ‘children’ themselves.
She also shows it live: If a child bites, shouts and sneezes without worries and boundaries – or should we say the maid? – full of bragging rights. Not unfair, for what she has to say can come in more than hard. However, the show seems to start a bit calmly. This may be because the beginning is the quieter part of the set. Fortunately, that mood reverses as she begins to rap so hard all by herself, without too much guidance, that she can’t help but get the audience to keep up. From there it went from protest to rap, from rap to rave again: the whole evening was one big party.
With performances of his bangers “Cipi” and “Knockout”, the Israeli manages to transform the audience into one large, leaping crowd. Everyone seems to know the lyrics, and it always screams when a song ends. Not only the lyrics to her own songs are scary, but also the lyrics to “Industry Baby”, the hit of Jack Harlow and Lil Nas X. The horns of that song convince us so much more about this more than talented artist. The lady would like to thank us in all our languages, but her achievement is a thank you in itself. We go home with more energy than we came up with, and that says a lot when one has skipped the whole show.
We are now very sure that these two young ladies can dig – with evidence, because we stood a little too close to the stage, we even got a few drops on the cheeks. No problem: we smile with shining eyes when we see such impressive actions in front of us. Their suspicion of all injustice in the world is shared by all, and then we all get a voice in them. Luckily, we ended up with the cheerful “NO news on TV” so we’d not have to go home so negative. ‘ Singing along, shouting and meeting is certainly not unjustified here, and to end with a quote from Erez’s own discography: ‘They spit, we swallow!’