Mr Jukes at Village Underground
Since smash-hit indie group Bombay Bicycle Club announced an indefinite hiatus in January 2016, frontman Jack Steadman has taken the time to explore his musical passions in the form of a new soul-fused, funk and jazz-rooted project, Mr Jukes. With the debut album God First landing last month, Steadman took to the Village Underground stage with his nine-piece band for their first ever live gig. And what a gig it was.
It might seem like a far cry from the poppy tracks of Bombay Bicycle Club, but as the perfomer launches into the first few tracks, it’s very much clear he is at home among the brass instruments and soulful vocalists of Mr Jukes. Playing the bass, he bops and grooves to every swell and rise, his face a picture of delight as the masterful band brings the music he loves to life around him. It’s infectious, and before playing Magic, he asks the crowd if they are enjoying it, joking, “I hope so, because I’m having an embarassingly good time”.
Playing a mix of music from the new album, including Radio 1’s Hottest Record in the World, Grant Green, each track was punctuated by fantastic solos from the three-piece brass, including a standout sax number after Tears. Lead vocalists Davide Shorty and Mariama Frida were sensational, each being given time to shine, Shorty in Leap of Faith, and Frida, in Golden Stars and a particularly smooth cover of Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (that thing).
The only complaint from the crowds is that the whole affair ended far too soon. A 45-minute set followed by an encore that let loose with Angels / Your Love was breathtakingly good, yet like a shooting star, gone all too quickly. Luckily, Mr Jukes is returning to London on tour in September, and if you get the chance, this ensemble is without a doubt a must-see.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information and future events visit the Mr Jukes website here.
Watch the video for Angels / Your Love here: