artworks-000052032509-dzf93d-t500x500– THE ROADHOUSE, MANCHESTER –

During the opening dramatic instrumental which shakes yet innocently chimes around The Roadhouse, it is clear what the audience are thinking; “Any minute now those green-tracksuit clad, roller-skating guys are going to dash enthusiastically on stage.” A thought which takes on deeper significance when ‘The Heat’ begins to jive around the somewhat confused audience, the video of which completely focuses on these fashion-aware roller-skaters; however after two minutes of ‘bringing the heat’ without these guys, it becomes clear that they are literally just video stars; video stars whose picture unusually takes up 100% of Jungle’s Website and accompanies every news article which is written about this much-hyped band.

After that revelation, focus can be put completely on the band, there are six of them who bring ‘The Heat’ to it’s funky yet driving climax, two of which play guitar and sing into circular record studio-esque microphones, two dance-routine practised backing-singers, a drummer and a bassist; however this band of six are enshrouded in total darkness through the set’s opening songs with shifting visions of them only revealed through striking camera flashes.

Accompanied by just a faint blue light, Jungle go into another new cut and although this unknown track retained the disco and funky elements of ‘The Heat’, it takes us much deeper into the Jungle. Formed around the line ‘When I Found Myself’ the sophisticated sonics collide perfectly here with the backing singers who twist and turn their arms in tandem, drums rasped throughout and as the complexity of the song increases the tagline of simple ‘fun’ which normally accompanies any disco/funk act that was thrown into the wilderness.

This blue light then becomes a more atmospheric red, resembling a pitch-black bonfire night where the flames of the fire are used to look for friends, except tonight we are using this red light to configure the band as best we can. With only three songs on the band’s Soundcloud, it is no surprise that the next song is yet again unheard, this song subtle yet completely irresistible, it stutters from drum-to-drum rhythmically around the chorus of “Don’t you forget about me” transfiguring and bending around The Roadhouse, ensuring that the singer’s plea has no chance of becoming true.

The pace slows for possibly the band’s best track in their very small history – ‘Drops’, opening with just a keyboard the voice of the undecipherable singer soars as he laments “When you’re so high you, when you’re so up in the sky you” before desperately pleaing “so come down from the clouds.” The song is enlaced with catchy “mmmhmmhmm’s” as a well-paced drum that implores you to slowly shake your hips, before the irresistible chorus returns. ‘Drops’ is the most beautiful moment of the night with it’s soul-like vision showcasing the band’s incredible range.

Finishing tonight’s set with the incredibly groovy ‘Platoon’ the band catapult themselves into the stylistic opening of “Ooh brother” before it gathers pace to lead into the catchy chorus where the singer wails “I’ll knock you down” Prince-style to a groove that the superstar would be proud of. The band are completely in unison, the backing singers embody perfection, the singer is gesturing passionately and confidently and just everything throughout the band is sharp and on-point.

This incredible sharpness is uncommon of an act who have only released 500 copies of double A-side Platoon/Drops and only the video for ‘The Heat’ which is physically released on the 21st of October. At this time, there are so many new bands that we see live and think “Yeah they have one or two good songs but they just don’t carry the rest of it through” raising doubts about the band’s longevity, but Jungle’s message tonight was coherent, well-rehearsed and slick ensuring that this band will soon have to turn the light on and come out of the wilderness.

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Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.