WHAT exactly constitutes a live show will always be a source of endless discussion in underground dance circles. We’ve all seen a dude up onstage basically playing out the tunes he made at home by triggering a series of pre-made loops, and we all know that ain’t live. Simon Green, though, better known to the world as Ninja Tune’s Bonobo, does it properly, and always has done. For the past 18 months he has been touring his latest album, 'The North Borders', across the world.
Starting back in 2013, it’s seen him travel 180,000 miles, take in 175 shows in 30 countries across three continents, and play in front of two million people. From Glastonbury to The Roundhouse, Bestival to Festival Number 6, he has done them all, and in some style.
Ever since his debut album in 2001, Bonobo has been making beautifully chilled-out but emotively beat-driven sounds that call on funk, hip-hop and plenty in-between. Organic and woozy, captivating and atmospheric, never does his music make more sense than in the live arena. It sweeps and swoons, rises and falls and does so with a genuine narrative arc. Featuring vocalists and oboe players, talented guitarists and key players, a saxophonist, string section and various electronics, Bonobo himself often plays bass and leads the band from the middle of the stage. It’s a live show that puts most to shame and will likely continue to do so once he sets off around the world again. This latest tour was captured at various dates around the world and compiled into a special live DVD that is out now, so if you managed to somehow miss a Bonobo live show this year, we heartily recommend you check it out.