London-based modern soul collective Jungle seem to have shot to success over the past year or so. With their signature 1970’s funk style and enigmatic character, the band have created a unique image and sound of themselves. Evidently, their charismatic sound has appealed to fans and critics alike, having sold out their London show at Camden’s Roundhouse on the UK leg of their world tour.
First on stage was support act Clarence Clarity with his heavy guitar riffs confused against the psychedelic undertones of his reverberated, pitch-shifted vocals. Messy, slightly awkward on stage, and not gaining a fantastic response from the audience, Clarence Clarity unfortunately did not seem to be the best support act to precede the critically-praised Jungle.
Shortly after the somewhat disappointing support act, Jungle appear on stage against a backdrop of their signature logo, lit up in all its glory. The band maintain their enigmatic persona as they stand silhouetted in front of a full to capacity venue.
Anticipation proved evident in the first five minutes of their set, as Jungle prolonged the introduction to first track ‘Platoon’ with a crossover of various songs from their debut record bringing together the iconic sounds evident throughout: drones, sirens and hums. ‘Platoon’ was given a longer instrumental, proving effective and creating an anticipation and tension within the audience.
Throughout their set, the collective were never hesitant to show off their talent. With barely any pauses between songs, Jungle proved that they could recreate and perfectly perform their debut album live in front of a sea of fans. Watching them on stage, you could appreciate the sheer number of layers and intricacies to each song. With such complicated production, one may be surprised that there were no slip-ups, but I would expect nothing less from the band having seen them take hold of their stage the moment they stepped out against that illuminating backdrop.
With its iconic introductory dialogue and siren wail, ‘The Heat’ encouraged an energetic buzz and movement from the Roundhouse audience, with each fan fighting for space to lose themselves in the perfectly executed guitar riffs and harmonised vocals.
“For anyone who’s lost someone”, ‘Drops’ gave the setlist a mellow break as the audience swayed to the melodic group harmonies and signature rhythmic clicking accompanied by a heavier percussion backdrop, leading into a more layered remix of the track.
Having performed the majority of their album with meticulous attention, the band gracefully left the stage. Surprisingly, the group came back for just one song: ‘Time’ – perhaps, one suggestion would be to perform a cover, in their signature sound? – a good choice for a closing track, accompanied by a shower of gold confetti.
Having performed with style and ease, Jungle have confirmed their place on the live music scene, exceeded expectations, and have proved that they can perform as one collective force.