Jamiroquai- SECC, 20 April 2011
It’s a sign of the times when you look around the crowd at a gig and you feel a wee bit old compared the bopping denizens thronging their way through the gig. Not the case at Jamiroquai, but perhaps a more apparent sign of ageing is when you ask to get into the seating area. We all try to grow old gracefully and Jamiroquai’s figurehead and frontman, Jay Kay, is showing signs of wear and tear too.
There were more low kicks than high kicks from the nimble footed Londoner as his collection of accomplished musicians tore their way through what amounted to a greatest hits set.
Jay Kay himself is an underrated singer, but as a live performer he does really know how to control a crowd and when watching the band it is clear Kay acts as a pseudo-composer, allowing the the musicians latitude to jam their way through elongated versions of Jamiroquai’s back catalogue. And this was the case in Glasgow’s god-awful excuse for a venue, the SECC.
In a night peppered with high-pitched squeals of feedback in almost every song, Jamiroquai played hits such as You Give Me Something, Cosmic Girl, Canned Heat and Little L. Despite the atrocious acoustics, the enthusiastic crowd got in on the act, with many a head bopping and some pretty creaky looking body-popping being attempted by some of the more inebriated in the crowd. Jay Kay may be less nimble than in his pomp but he at least keeps himself fit. The sight of a 17-stone heavyweight try to copy his moves is the kind of comedy Peter Kay dreams of articulating.
Whilst it was clearly not a sell-out, there was a hardcore of fans there who were intimate with the new album. With a ticket retailing in at just under 150 empty ginger bottles, it is no surprise that it wasn’t full.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better rhythm section than Jamiroquai’s and in particular the guitar and bass work is tighter than a photo-finish. Deeper Underground remains an impressively powerful live song with the throbbing bass and keyboard riff quite literally shaking the seating area, but the guitar & vocal only rendition of Love Foolsophy was excellent and was greeted with a rapturous reaction that doubled up when the band broke into the original version.
A musical treat from a band who are top class at what they do and all fronted by a fellah who has moves that are slowing down a wee bit, but aren’t we all?
By James A. Stewart