Tonight’s show was being held at The Palomino, which in itself is a fantastic venue.
A restaurant upstairs that served spectacular pulled pork started the night off well, and the venue downstairs could teach venues in England a lot. Decorations adorned the walls and made the place look like any rock venue to be proud of, but with clean floors, friendly bar staff and a good stage, lighting and sound system. This was arguably what would be classed as a ‘pub gig’ in England, yet instead of the drunken regulars and family of the bands who’d much rather be anywhere else, the audience were a hugely enthusiastic group of people who gave every act on the bill the care and respect they deserved.
The most fascinating aspect of the gig was the diversity of bands. In the UK, when you head to a show you’ve normally got three bands on the bill playing the same kind of music. They’ve got some variation, but you’d not normally expect to see a huge difference in musical styles. Jung People are a post-rock band, so you expect a night of post rock – because that’s what you’re used to, right? However, Jung People were second on the bill, sandwiched between Mike Edel, a folk singer/songwriter and Close Talker, an indie pop band. Seeing them nestled between two such totally different acts is a real reminder of what this whole music thing’s about.
In the UK, we get so caught up on genres, labels, ‘sellability’ and appearances that we forget that most of us got into this game through a sheer love of music, without worrying about whether it fits into the post-prog-rock-electronica-genre of which we’ve become so enamoured with. And yet the other two acts on the bill, while not being sonically similar, were just as enjoyable.
Jung People themselves were fantastic right from the start. Double-bass, violin and more made this eclectic mixture of soft, drawn out notes, hugely atmospheric playing and brash, harsh chords and rhythms that jarred yet synced in perfect harmony a real joy to watch. Sweetly melodic yet never overbearing, their music lifted and transported and created an ambient yet completely enthralling experience. The audience watching loved them – swaying, dancing and simply watching, enraptured, they obviously hugely approved of everything they were seeing. Mostly instrumental bands often find it hard to truly tell a story through their music, but the honesty and raw emotion that shone through their music narrated, flowed freely and talked to the audience. Their songs communicated from start to finish, while still giving the audience space to take their own interpretations from the music. So different to so many normal gigging experiences but so beautiful for it, and as a band they were truly sublime.
However, even with all this positivity about Jung People themselves, what really impacted was the evening as a whole. Yes, we’re here to see a post-rock band, but instead of feeling cheated it’s not an evening of post-rock extravaganza it’s an enriching experience for having had the variety of acts available. The night about really experiencing the music, leaving us with the kind of reaction to a gig not experienced for a long time.