The Budos Band is a 10-piece, New York-based Afro-soul collective on Daptone Records. Yes, the one and only Daptone Records that is home to Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings. With lots of brass, percussion and cowbell, The Budos Band brought the party to a packed house at Mohawk on Saturday night. It was great to see hipsters, Latinos, soul sisters and nerds getting down together in the name of Budos.
Other than South By Southwest, Saturday night was the first Budos Band show in Austin. That’s surprising, given the huge amount of support shown in Austin. Before the band took the stage, guest DJs Martin Perna and Adrian Quesada of Ocote Soul Sounds were spinning some old school soul and Afrobeat to get things warmed up. Of course, the humid heat did its fair share of that as well. Austin weather in August, even at night, is brutal to your wardrobe, especially in the chest and armpit regions.
As The Budos Band took to the stage, loud cheers and applause were heard all over Red River. Not all 10 members could make it, but the seven members they did have didn’t disappoint. Without lyrics or an intro, the band began right away with “Budos Dirge” off of The Budos Band III, their new album. The album cover “has a cobra on it” as the band members made sure to point out to the crowd throughout the night. Of all the things the band has to be proud of and shamelessly plug, it was the cobra on the album cover they seemed to be most proud of.
When the band did engage the audience, it felt like we were at a metal concert. The band was in all black except for the guys playing the cowbell and tambourine, and even had the signature metal beards and long hair. Lots of “Fuck yeah, Austin!” while throwing your horns up is also very metal. The whole metal thing went away the minute they began each new song though. Still, it was an interesting paradox.
The Budos Band’s set includes songs from all three albums, starting with new stuff like the jazz-funk “Cutlass Supreme.” Everyone was bobbing their heads or dancing all night, even on the second level balconies of Mohawk. At one point, a disco/funky chick in a white mini-dress and sparkling gogo boots got on stage uninvited and shook her (flat) booty, and the crowd loved it. Budos’ bass player was less amused, eventually using the neck of his guitar to gently spear her away from the stage.
Funk—the good kind—was in the air all night, in what was a fantastic set by the New York Afro-soul collective.
Ride or Die
Mark of The Unnamed
The Budos Band performed at Mohawk in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 21.