Tonight, at Jagwar Ma’s first major London date since the release of second album ‘Every Now and Then’, the crowd is out to celebrate. With a feel-good atmosphere that’s closer to a party than a gig, live, the structured songwriting of each of the Aussies’ psych-pop tracks bleeds together into an expanse of buzzy, bouncy optimism.
“I was conscious of how things would work in the live arena”, the band’s Jono Ma said of the new album earlier this year, “…as far as having bits that people could sing and that kind of stuff.” But, though the set falls slightly short of creating crowd-wide sing-alongs, the dancing just about makes up for it.
‘Four’, perhaps one of their most dance-orientated songs, stretches into a fuzzy soundscape of epic proportions whereas the repetitive beats of ‘What Love’ sends the crowd into an early frenzy. As for new album tracks, they fit seamlessly with older ones: the soaring, anthemic chorus of ‘Slipping’ feels like a refreshing step in the right direction, and the swirling, trance-like instrumental of ‘OB1’ is infectious.
It might be a mid-week evening with a 10pm curfew, but somehow Jagwar Ma make tonight feel more like the early-hours of your last great Friday night.
Photos: Ben McQuaide
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