The Jimmy Cake
Red Box, Dublin, Feb 14th 2001
Nine strong, taking the stage and none too early, in the face of artless disinterest worn by this artsy student audience. Opening their instrumental set with decisive strokes - rounds of repeated motifs that wax and wane across the range of instrumentation wielded by this higgledy bunch: woodwind, brass, percussion and kit, guitars, bass, glockenspiel, accordion, bicycle bell and banjo. SOME oblique oboe melodies, offset with tenor sax and trumpet harmonies, undulant fretless bass groove and brittle, offbeat, bony-elbowed kit rhythms LATER and the visceral sound begins to draw the more discerning from the bar.
Quieting down to a spare cymbal and tom, we watch John Dermody verbally count off the off-kilter beats as the labent bass rolls in. Then John & Dee (they're brothers, you know) sit together behind the kit, synced arms akimbo; a bassline rolls over the top, the oboe introduces a three note descension and we're off and grooving - smiling too.
There's a new tune - dedicated, with appreciable irony, to 'the lovers' on this St. Valentine's night - with guitar, drum and staccato saxophone stabs (Vincent, John & Dee - they're brothers, you know) breaking the beats at the top. Then the debut 'Wedding Song' with glockenspiel gleefully tippling over the tipsy accordion sway - drunken students loping dotsily about to the chicane madness - giddying up the music to go faster and faster until it all falls apart at the end.
Bred in the bone and borne on the wing - this sanguine and cerebral music. Can in the kitchen, Talk Talk in the
hallway, and Ornette Coleman getting it on with Cozy Powell in the bedroom (what a vision!). Oh, and some medieval bloke
tooting on a bugle.
Cyberjazz and trapeze-trance, sending us off tonight to our own bloody Valentines.