The Milk at Oslo Hackney
British soul and R&B have been enjoying a renaissance of late, with the likes of Plan B, John Newman and Sam Smith tearing up international music charts. This is a sign that not only are the genres still relevant, but that they are continuing to influence popular culture. The Milk has built up a steady sound that veers between motown classics and britpop, with a touch of Arctic Monkeys about it. The band’s very English twist on this style of music gives it a truly authentic interpretation.
On the latest single, No Interruptions, lead singer Ricky Nunn showcases a voice that is tinged with loss, and the slight whine to it perfectly encapsulates the longing and pain present in the song. The call and repeat of Deliver me is slow and sexy – it lures the audience into a hypnotic sway, and explores a more 90s understanding of soul. The encore begins with (All I Wanted Was) Danger, a high-energy track where they tap into the best aspects of soul and R&B, back to a time when music was about celebration and fun. They close with Broke Up the Family, repeating the line “I don’t feel like going home!” With this much enthusiasm pumping through the venue, it is no wonder that everyone is reluctant to leave, as the night feels like it is just getting started.
It is this variation that makes the band appealing; they seem to have a deep understanding of the genres, and the different effects these have had on people over the years. Their sound has a firm rooting in the original 60s pop/R&B style, which then takes on some elements of Northern soul, making it more relevant to a British audience. There is a twist of 70s funk that sounds similar to Simply Red, before transforming into something more modern. There is not a linear progression in the set; rather, all these points of reference are evident in each track. The band brings just enough original content to the table to create this unique sound, whilst still playing within very clearly defined boundaries of the soul and R&B genres.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about The Milk and future events visit here.
Watch the video for No Interruptions here: