“We’re going to funk your socks off” said Mischa Stevens, bass guitarist, huskily into the mic as Jambouree began their Monday evening set on the BBC Castle stage.
They’re a regular fixture of Edinburgh’s up and coming jazz scene, but the boys have had an impressive summer: playing at some big name festivals like The Kelburn Garden Party, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues fest, and now the Fringe. I’ve watched, and enjoyed, them playing before; but it’s great to see they can handle an open stage just as well as they do hot and sweaty gigs in the Jazz Bar.
The band met at university and formed in summer 2014, though they sound as if they have been playing together for a good while longer than one and a half years. Various solos throughout demonstrate that each of the five band members is a very talented musician in his own right. More impressive however, is their ability to augment the quality of each others sound, and their synchronicity; it never feels like a competition for solos.
It was a fairly short set, only half an hour, but they managed to pack in some great tunes.
What struck me was the original touches in their music- like the harmonica in ‘Lava Lava’, which keeps things fresh and interesting. Despite slowing things down a little for the jazzy number ‘Silt’, the set didn’t lose its pace.
They finished on ‘Magic for Me’, which felt like a little bit of an impromptu choice but ended up being my personal favourite. It proved a great opportunity for Alex Palmer to shine on drums and worked well on the already warmed up crowd.
My one gripe was actually more to do with the venue, rather than the band. The Olympics were being shown on a big screen just in front and to the left of the stage; perhaps it helps to reel in the crowds but it’s a strange set up. Having the TV on is distracting and pulls attention away from the performers.
But that’s not to take away from what was a great show, and luckily Jambouree are very much able to outshine cycling time trials. By the end of their set my socks were indeed funked right off.
It’s well worth making a space for them in your Fringe timetable. Jambouree are next playing on the 23rd at The Pear Tree, and then Stramash the same evening.