Nahko and Medicine for the People at Bush Hall
Bush Hall was used as a soup kitchen during the Second World War; now, the remedying music of Nahko and Medicine for the People dishes out a different kind of nourishment under the glass chandeliers, in the form of love, peace and understanding. Formed in 2008 in Oregon, this is tribal music, world music, all-round beatifying music in London for the first time and on a mission to motivate and inspire anyone who is listening to spread and live in harmony.
The frontman Nahko Bear, topless and toned, teases the onlookers initially with a medley of well-known songs, from Imagine to Your Song; his nimble fingers on the keyboard match the strength of his faultless vocals. The band is a happy bunch, bouncing around on stage: on the couple of occasions they start playing in the wrong key or the chords to the wrong song, it’s all smiles and laughs and it only endears them more to the crowd. A significant portion of the audience look like they’ve been on a yoga retreat to India at least once in their lifetime and cite The Beach amongst their favourite films.
Budding Trees, with its “body talks and meditations helps” chorus, unites the whole room in the way that listening to Counting Crows does. Warrior People’s reggae sways continue the band’s message of spiritual journeys plus hints of indigenous patriotism (Bear has Native American roots). The talent of the four musicians is never more on show than during the huge mid-set medley that dexterously blends No Diggity into Bills, Bills, Bills through to Get Up, Stand Up.
Clan solidarity permeates the place – everyone here is described as “family” – and the performance is certainly given with a lot of love. But songs do have a tendency to drag on, one seemingly ending about three times before actually concluding. The two-hour set length feels like it doesn’t know when to finish either, which could be half an hour sooner.
Despite this, Nahko and Medicine for the People is a band that will most probably always prove popular, especially with the free spirits of the world, if they continue playing anywhere close to how they have here.
Photos: Adrian Dusman
For further information about Nahko and Medicine for the People and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Budding Trees here: