Review: Tuto Tribe, Whiskey Blue, Southampton, February 24

Review: Tuto Tribe, Whiskey Blue, Southampton, February 24

words and photos by Peter Nicholson.

I wondered what the collective noun for saxophones was. A quick Google search revealed that it might be a “hornucopia”, but there were lots of other suggestions… “a wall”, “a lush”, “a blossom”, and others. I’d like to add “Tribe” of saxophones to the list of possibilities. My visit to Whiskey Blue in Southampton taught me there’s always room for one more saxophone, courtesy of the “Tuto Tribe”. 


This seven-piece band is made up of talents from Brazil, Cyprus, Canada and England. I recognized Mike Nikolau on bass, so new the rhythm section was certain to pass muster. To add to this were two percussionists, Marcio and Mark. Together, the three sounded like they’d played together for years, perhaps they have. The three saxophones were played by Rich, David and Blair. The three played as one, but picking up solos that suited their individual style perfectly. The wireless mic on Rich’s sax allowed him to lead the congas and to get the crowd fully involved with the Latin atmosphere. Smiles all round!

The front man of the Tribe, Tuto, hales from Brazil, but has had had plenty of stops on the way to Southampton, living and playing his unique style of Samba Rock in a host of European countries before putting some loose roots down in our city. 

His vocal style enhanced most of the songs from the first set by being sung in his mother tongue. However, this didn’t stop him from adding some covers from such diverse bands as Pink Floyd and The Doors, neither of which would usually fit in a Samba Rock set! Tuto made it fit seamlessly. His guitar playing was also superb. Whether it was the lead instrument in a song or backing up the trio (“Tribe”) of saxophones, it was all at the perfect level.

As the set went on, the audience became more and more involved. The usual English reserve slowly melted away, and the dance floor filled with Latin spirit.

The Tuto Tribe perform most weekends in Southampton, I strongly urge you to get along to a night with them. Set your Latin spirit free!


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