All in London
Stepping into Jamboree feels partly like stepping into someone’s private rehearsal space and partly like entering a bar on the East Side of Berlin. Its rough walls and mismatched furniture are playfully counteracted by the colourful lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Its almost box-like shape and quirky props such as a book corner reminded me of an old jewellery box with black faded suede on the inside but filled with precious little trinkets. And having had a long trek to this side of town by tube, then DLR, followed by pacing up and down Cable Street several times before realising I had to get in via the back, once inside I realised I had found a real gem.
The few dozen people in attendance gathered round the performance area (which is basically a space between tables) and sipped bottled beer, waiting expectantly for the show to start.
Once the first band started playing it became apparent the team behind Jamboree are serious about their music. A curious outfit called Columbus and Crusoe featured a xylophone, a violin, and a lead vocalist who sang like Leonard Cohen crossed with Nick Cave. If it were possible to fall in love with someone’s voice, this would be its sound.
Seb Rochford was next, a jazz musician who has been twice nominated for the Mercury Music Awards and appeared tonight in a project entitled Rooms of Katina, accompanied by a drummer who softly drifted into swing and jazz rhythms and a bassist who halfway through the set switched to strumming a viola with her fingers.
It was ironic that only earlier in the week I had bemoaned a lack of vitality in London, how the live music scene seemed to be usurped by countless identikit indie/emo bands and the tedious venues that promote them, the motivation behind it all being making a quick buck. But something different is being sought after here, and amongst this cosy group perhaps a scene is even beginning to form (I later learnt that many of the bands that perform here are acquainted and even play with each other, suggesting a tight-knit circle).
Jamboree currently opens from Thursday to Saturday, but the aim is to open every night of the week by the summer. I have a feeling the peeps behind Jamboree won’t have any problems seeking enough wonderful sounds with which to fill the week. I left feeling very excited indeed.