Monday, 28 September 2009

HDIF presents: White Town - Jamm

When I heard that White Town were playing, Jyoti Mishra's first gig in about ten years and, oddly, his first show in London, I jumped back in time to hearing 'Your Woman' on the school bus in the late nineties. It was raining and the folk on the back seat were making a racket, but the song cut through it, the trumpet sample easy to get, as we strained our ears to follow the story in the lyrics. Blonde girls trudge past wearily, the bus slowly pulls away from the stop outside the pub where I was to get my first glass collecting job a few months later. Someone far away making music on his own, in his bedroom on a laptop, wait, did they have laptops that long ago? Probably in black and white, in mono.

Tonight, Jyoti looks much like I remember seeing him in Smash Hits, he hasn't aged. He's sat centre stage with and acoustic guitar, I fear that the sample/loop/laptop original songs will be played in a stripped down acoustic MJ Hibbett style, but luckily he has backing tapes.

Its gentle friendly music, laid back and a little sleazy, but in and unthreatening way. The guitar's through handful of effect pedals and the vocals have a touch of reverb.

The songs all sound kind of familiar although I swear I've only heard two of his tracks before, Undressed and Your Woman which are saved until the end of the set. The crowd goes a little wild, cameras a videoing, singing along.

"Free gigs, you can always get your money back,"

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