Kensington Dispatches: Hip hop, rock, and soul at Handlebar

Kensington Dispatches: Hip hop, rock, and soul at Handlebar

Contributor’s Note: Every weekend, I head to Kensington Market and walk down Augusta Ave and the nearby area to hear what’s playing from the numerous bars and clubs in the area. Our first dispatch comes from a couple of weeks ago, delayed by a week due to illness.

MAY 17 – Handlebar in Kensington Market was the place to be for a night of funky rap infused with dreamy psychedelic vibes from the ’70s, funk from the ’80s, and rap from the ’90s. The eclectic mix of genres created a unique and captivating experience that left the concert audience wanting more.

The headlining act, Mauve Grauve, seamlessly blended these influences, creating a sound that felt both nostalgic and refreshingly new. Their performance was tight, showcasing their musical prowess, particularly during moments when the rapper and drummer engaged in a call and response, accentuating parts of the songs with precision and flair. The drummer’s fills were impressive, often veering into jazzy territory, adding an unexpected but welcome complexity to the rhythms.

The guitarist’s tasty chords and the bassist’s funky grooves provided a solid foundation for the band’s sound. Each member contributed to the overall vibe, making the performance cohesive and dynamic. The music transported the audience, invoking the psychedelic spirit of the ’70s with the infectious energy of ’80s funk and the lyrical flow of ’90s rap.

Other Acts

Opening the night was Childlike, a singer, songwriter and producer who set the tone with their vibrant energy and catchy beats. At times, her combination of rap, rock, and pop reminded me of early 2000s rap/rock sets in the best possible way. Their set was a perfect introduction to the evening, warming up the crowd with their playful and engaging performance. Closing the concert was the rock band Soul Disciplez.

The concert at Handlebar was a memorable journey through decades of musical influence, expertly woven together to create a sound that was both familiar and innovative. It was a night that showcased the versatility and talent of the performers, leaving the audience eagerly anticipating the next shows for these bands and musicians.

Go and follow Childlike and Mauve Grauve on Instagram childlikeofficial and mauvegrauve respectively. Check out Soul Disciplez on Facebook, page name Souldiscipl3z. Stream or purchase each of the artist’s music through links on their socials.

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