The people of Brighton aren’t generally disposed towards arriving early for a gig but, even with the prospect of an hour’s wait after doors and no support act, there’s a queue outside Patterns long before opening time. Kicking off a short tour of venues that he could outsell many times over, Jarvis Cocker has brought his new band to town for an intimate gig showcasing new music, a few familiar tunes and a huge rapport with the audience. If he’d just chatted for the 90 minutes everyone would have gone home happy.
‘We’re not sure what we are, we might be JARVIS, we might be JARV…IS, but anyway we’re a band’ he says by way of introduction. Then, in addition to distributing sweets and discussing subjects from evolution to the introduction of the driving test, we are treated to some brilliant new tracks with one or two old favourites thrown in for good measure. It’s refreshing to not hear anyone calling for the big hits; the new songs more than stand up with the inclusion of some fresh instruments backing the always recognisable vocal; ‘Elvis Has Left The Building’ and ‘Swanky Modes’ both particularly well received.
The others band members also get a deserved warm welcome and are introduced as Serefina Steer on harp and keyboards, Adam Betts on drums, Andrew McKinney on bass and Emma Smith on violin and guitar. An amazing night initially ends with a mass singalong to ‘His ‘n’ Hers’ but the band are persuaded to stay for one more song and offer up another new track, ‘Chilled Ibiza’, on the promise that if it all goes wrong the crowd will still respect them in the morning. The songs are great, the band is great, Jarvis is a natural performer and very funny raconteur; this will be talked about for a long time.
Review and Photography by Siobhan O’Driscoll: 16beasleystphotography.com