American favourites Living Colour bring their 'chameleonic' rock to Northampton

Living Colour
Living Colour

US rockers Living Colour are headlining the Roadmender in July.

For more than 30 years, the band have created, recorded and performed their own brand of heavy rock that draws as much inspiration from yesteryear soul men and rock gods as they do from post-bop jazz and boulevard-shaking hip-hop.

Founded by guitarist Vernon Reid back when he was still a dreadlocked sideman with Ronald Shannon Jackson and other East Village noise ensembles, Living Colour includes vocalist Corey Glover, drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Doug Wimbish.

The band released their latest album Shade in 2017 - their first new record in eight years.

The initial spark for the LP came via the spirit of blues pioneer Robert Johnson who possessed Living Colour’s soul during a performance at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theatre.

Reid said: “That was really the beginning of us thinking of the direction we want to take for our next project.

“Hearing that blend of blues and metal was really what got the wheels turning.”

Living Colour’s blues incorporate myriad influences, while speaking to the politically-charged climate of the times.

The band gave fans a sneak peak of the recording in 2016 when they dropped a reimagined take on The Notorious B.I.G.’s Who Shot Ya? in protest at ongoing gun violence and racial profiling.

Bassist Wimbish said: “Making records is an art and a process, and sometimes it can be easier to herd cats.

“But, when it connects and we come together, it’s a beautiful thing. Shade is a testimony to who Living Colour is, to our chameleon quality.”

While other veteran rockers are content with life on the road, Living Colour relish working on new material together, with Shade is a testament to that spirit.

“To me, there seems to be a shadow cast across our collective lives,” explains Reid.

“We can either allow it to oppress us or we can shine a light on it.

“Shade is the sound of a band coming to terms with the shadows and shining a light by using the blues as a mirror.”

Living Colour headline the Roadmender on Saturday, July 20.

Doors open at 7.30pm, tickets cost £25 in advance before fees. Visit theroadmender.com for details