Proof that knowing nothing about a band will not stop me from checking them out if I get a couple of recommendations – and the show being free didn’t hurt, either.
A friend sent me a note that a band called Jungle was playing the Knitting Factory that Friday, and that entry was free if you brought your Treefort wristband. A couple buddies agreed to go with me, and I am just dorky enough to have kept my wristband, so to the show we went. I knew literally nothing about Jungle, but had heard that they perform as a 7-piece band and put on a good show.
When we got there, just after the opener had finished, there was virtually nobody there. This worried me some, but a group we ran into just inside the door gushed about how great the show was going to be and how many times they had seen them before. So we waited the 30+ minutes for Jungle to finally take the stage.
This band is the brainchild of two guys from London – they go only by J and T – who play keyboards and synths while their backing band handles the guitar, bass, and drum duties. They also had a second percussionist who was all over his bongos, maracas, chimes, and cowbell, and two backup singers. The backup singers were both wearing very 70s era clothes and hairstyles and added to the disco-soul feel. It was quite a spectacle, indeed.
Generally speaking, pop music is not something that I enjoy or even voluntarily expose my self to, but these guys did sound great and had the crowd (which grew to several hundred by the show’s end) dancing and singing along. Jungle definitely has a rabid following, and I felt like the only person there unfamiliar with their music.
Two critiques: First, J and T had a definite boy band feel about them. From their matching white outfits to their earpieces, I felt like they were surviving members of a B-grade Backstreet Boys. Their band was solid, and their guitar player was actually quite good, but they were all kept in the back and out of the limelight while J and T did their keyboards thing. Second, the vocals were relentlessly falsetto, and by the end of the night I had my fill of it. However, the music was catchy and it was a fun show – especially for the price.