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Jonquil - Camp, London 24/11/10

Jonquil - Camp, London 24/11/10

by , 01 December 2010

Venue: Camp, London Date: 24/11/10 Link: Jonquil Change is a good thing and no more is this true than in music. Judging from their performance at C.A.M.P, Jonquil are clearly aware of this. The only problem is there was no need to change. Their brand of delicate folk–pop of old couldn’t have been further from the disco inspired tropical sounds I saw before me at Camp. In fact, the band was different in just about every way; from their lineup to their sound - I might have been watching Jonquil but in essence I was listening to a new band. This in itself isn’t a problem although I’ve always been wary of a band that changes their sound so radically - perhaps a change of name would have made the transition less misleading. However don’t get me wrong, the gig was entertaining and probably a lot more suited to an East London basement club night than their sound of before. The songs, none of which I had heard before, were enjoyable and clearly received well by the audience. Clearly Jonquil have taken math-rock inspiration from their Oxford friends Foals, although luckily without the hipster pretence and appearance. Jonquil’s new tropical sound, appropriately reflected in lead singer Hugo Manuel’s palm tree t-shirt, was constructed of appealing up-tempo rhythms, accomplished musicianship and intricate cross-rhythmic lead synth and guitar lines, all of which was undeniably fun. However, their tentative on stage presence and stage-banter only added to the perception of Jonquil being a new band. If Camp had been my first experience of Jonquil then I would have left pleasantly impressed having seen a fairly distinctive up and coming band with a catalogue of enjoyable if somewhat indistinguishable songs. But unfortunately, it’s difficult to forget the more accomplished, inspiring sound of the previous incarnation of Jonquil, that might not have won the hearts of the average general public, but it certainly won mine.

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