The Correspondents – Jazz cafe

Now we come onto a band I have seen a number of times.

The specific gig I’m writing about was in February this year at the Jazz Cafe in Camden. Which is a lovely little venue, really good for small intimate gigs. To make the venue work the people on stage really have to work hard to engage the audience, and can’t be frightened to get a little bit too close. (To be honest, at a venue the size of the Jazz Cafe they really have no choice)

The Correspondents released their second album earlier this year. I am a huge fan of them, and loved their first album. It’s full of ‘electro-swing’ numbers, sampling music (done masterfully by part 2 of 2 in the duo, Chucks) from the 30s,  and mashing it with his own beats. After hearing the 9 tracks on the first album (titled: What’s happened to Soho?) I longed for more. They did have a couple more songs (no longer played at live sets) from an EP entitled Rouge, which I recommend you have a listen to.

The Correspondents are famous for their live gigs. They are a band focused on the here and now, the live performance rather than recording an album. Their debut album was only recorded (I’m sure) because the MC(?) lead vocalist(?) Mr.Bruce, had broken his ankle.

I, like many of their fans, saw them while waiting for another show (they were the in-between act on mainstage at Bestival in 2009) and was completely blown away. Mr.Bruce is very charismatic, which is surprising, given the energy he puts into his performance – read: he dances. Like a nutter. But, ya’know, in a good way.

After being stuck with a limited amount of live shows and the same nine songs I was very happy to hear that they had finished recording their album, and were going to tour it. (They are the kind of band that tour 24/7, except when they’re making an album, obviously).

They live streamed the album when it was released, which was a couple of days before the show. I listened to it, and, in all honesty, was uninspired. It sounded quite samey, and nothing really jumped out at me – except the line ‘I’ve got the keys to the devils lighthouse’ from ‘the devils Lighthouse’. To be fair, I wasn’t giving it my full attention, but first impressions count.

Anyway, I was still pretty excited about the gig, they always managed to put on a good show. As soon as they came on stage they played the first track off the new album (What did I do), and immediately, I knew I had made the wrong judgement on the album. They played almost the whole album, with some of their older stuff as well, and it was fantastic. I would now site The devils lighthouse as being my least favorite, though it’s still up there. The song I enjoyed most, and still enjoy is ‘Puppet Loosely Strung’ – weirdly the title track of the album. I don’t often like the title track.

In summary, it was an amazing gig, the energy in the tiny room was brilliant, the crowd were into it, Mr.Bruce was practically bouncing off the walls, and the music was both lyrically and musically enticing.

*A note on the photos: I’m particularly proud of these, I’m not great a getting clear photos when the subject is – to quote the man himself -‘dancing like a loon’. But I have to say after seeing them 7...8...9 times I’ve managed to leave last few gigs with some half decent photos*

The photos included are from the Jazz cafe in Feb 2014, and Bestival in Sept 2013.

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