Jagwar Ma: London – live review

Jagwar Ma
Scala, London
23rd October 2013

How can anyone say anything about this lot without naming a flower or anything made of sto…

See …… couldn’t get past the first line.



Ticket touts (BOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!!!)

A packed crowd either chatting or dancing in-between acts to a DJ who’s up on stage.

The ’90s.

The ’60s.

The jeans.

The hat – yes Jagwar Ma‘s lead singer Gabriel Winterfield is even sporting one of THOSE hats.


Actually, there weren’t any drugs, I struggled getting in with an umbrella ….

This is SOooooo …..2013.

The thumping drums, the bleeps, the pitter patter of the high frequency cymbals that have us waving our arms in the air and pointing with our fingers tight together but out hands stretched back.

Pointing at nothing really.

And as for arms in the air …. well, we do that with mobile phones nowadays – and for some people there’s the need to film EVERYTHING and I bet all that footage of EVERYTHING is ace eh ? – all that wobbly film and waving arms in front of the band ….


There’s a lot of buttons being pressed up there and a pretty neat box making the voices sound twice as big as they would do otherwise. A guitar, a bass …. but no drum kit. No one in this room needs a drum kit, or anything to hit for that matter. Just let all the machines do the work and to separate the bottom end from the top end and blend the loud bits into the quiet bits and we stand and think …. will the new Stone Roses album when it comes out sound as good as this ?

If you want something new to dance to then you’ve got it.

If you want something all your mates are going to instantly love then you’ve got it.

Jagwar Ma have the tunes, the electronic psychedelic grooves, the sound of 1967 (ok I was thinking about learning how to read and write around then) the sound of 1990 (although some of us were on tour with Godflesh at the time) and the sound of 2013.

The fists in the air entrance, the flashing lights, the celebrities scattered around the audience, the bass lines, the beats, the sing along choruses, the synth’s and the odd Screamadelica CD’s in the glove compartment of their tour bus ……. and it’s taken three blokes from the other side of the planet to bring it to us.

Obvious really when you come to think of it really eh? It was never going to be a couple of spotty oinks from Colchester wearing Northside t-shirts now was it?

Jagwar Ma can be found at their website and at their Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud pages.

All words by Keith Goldhanger. More work by Keith on Louder Than War can be found here. He’s also on SoundCloud here, Facebook here and tweets as @HideousWheeelInv.

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Keith Goldhanger -- Spent the '90s as a frontman with London noise merchants HEADBUTT - spent the '80s in 'Peel favourites' BASTARD KESTREL. Spent a few years mashing up tunes and remixing bands as HIDEOUS WHEEL INVENTION. Is often out and about getting in the way of things and bumping his head on low ceilings - Will give your band the time of day but will dislike any band that balances full pints of alcohol on the top of guitar amps (Not keen on lead singers that wear hats either).


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