Friday, August 17, 2012

Jinja Safari - The Hi Fi Bar

Well it's been a long time in between gigs! Last Friday night I broke my dry spell, aresult of me squirreling away my pennies for our European adventure instead ofspending all my money on CDs and concerts like a usually do, and went along tosee Jinja Safari at the Hi Fi Bar with some die hard fans and dear friends ofmine.

For once I actually arrived on time for a gig, which is not only a modern day miraclebut it also gave us an awesome opportunity for prime viewing of the stage, oroccupation of the 'short ass shelf', as I like to call the split level Hi FiBar. Huzzah!

Not oneof the five of us had ever heard of the White Arrows before, but I was immediately won over by the fact that the music they played as the backingtrack to them taking the stage was none other than the theme song for Game ofThrones. *Insert embarrassing geeking out here*.

Their own music, however, took a little longer to grow on me; it was the consensusbetween myself and Anne (who also has an excellent taste in music), thatalthough we liked what we were hearing, their sound was a lot like the scoresof young indie rock bands we had heard before.
However as the set progressed, the White Arrows began to find their own uniquesound (or perhaps it was us that managed to find the diversity within theirset), and we found ourselves really getting into the last four or five songs.It may also have had something to do with the fact that the bassit swapped hisguitar for a tambourine that lit up when hit, and proceeded to run through thecrowd with it! So fun! 
I had alisten to their album on Spotify, and sadly, like a lot of support bands I'veseen, the thing that draws me to their live performance isn't carried over intotheir recorded tracks; the powerful drum beats that pulsed through each songthey played that night seemed muted and compressed in the recorded tracks. However, I have included a few songs in the gig playlist that I still quitelike regardless.

The second support was a band that we had all heard of, but none of us could work where we had, or what song we knew.
What first struck me about Opossom was the fact that they had a girl drummer!If you are a girl and you can hold drumsticks and bang drums and make goodsounds come out of them, I will develop and instant crush on you. It's so sexy!(Note to self; Google more girl drummers.) Not only do I want to be next to one for all of time, I also just want to BE one; I found myself imagining myself in her place, less awkward and more talented than I actually am, questioning whether twenty three was too old to pick up a pair of drumsticks for the first time. One day....
It turned out that everyone in Opossom could play drums, and guitar, and piano, and all the other instruments ever invented, apparently!Damn them and their musical multi-talents! But that's not all! I did not realise it at the time, but this woman with the musical arsenal is none other than the fabulous Bic Runga. 

Mind blown.

Opossom a great set, with a lot of songs I really got into, like Girl and Cola Elixer. They also some more sprawling psychedelic numbers that seemed to ramble for a while until they became just that little overzealous for me to really enjoy completely.

By the time Opossom left the stage, we were fully primed to lose ourselves in the magic that is Jinja Safari. From my perch on the short ass shelf, I could seethe hard-core fans filtering in through the crowd, their heads adorned with fur, feathers and foliage.
Jinja arrived on stage brimming with infectious energy, to the point where itwas almost childlike in nature; mid way through the second song, the keyboardplayer had managed to climb up onto the amps and then swing himself off the lighting rig, much to the horror of all roadies involved. It was a jumping,screaming, bongo beating wild good, with the energy in the room so high itthreatened to almost transcend the music itself! And yet not even a technicaldisruption during Stepping Stones, their most sprawling and immersive song,could break their focus; each member of the band was completely immersed inwhat they were creating, yet they were also determined to take each one of us along for the ride!

Highlights: Peter Pan, The Mermaid Song (and amazing closer), Forest Eyes, Toothless Grin, Stepping Stones, and a whole bunch of new songs, some of which were yet to be titled! 


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