They Say Jump @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, 15/08/16

by AdamTait
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on 19 August 2016 in Live
Rating 7/10

There's an interesting disparity, in reggae, between the impact made by the genre's recorded music and live shows. While the records fly under the radar, the shows are regularly some of the most talked about thanks to their vibrancy and energy. 

Leaving questions regarding reggae's transition to record alone for the moment, They Say Jump's Hoxton Bar & Kitchen show does nothing to disapprove the later assertion. 

Overwhelmed with emotion (more on that later) at the turn out for the event, full-of-beans frontman Adrian Benn is as frenetic as he is frantic from the off, eagerly encouraging audience involvement as he leads the crowd in stretches. 

What follows is a colourful blend of latin-tinged reggae and hip hop, thrust along by the vocalist's energy and the blaring brass section; party music far more about the atmosphere it can create than the substance of the songs. 

But while the moments of knees-up party reggae go down well, they're at their best during their slower, more considered moments, like the fan-favourite cover of The Eagles 'Hotel California'.  

Hollie Cook, who appears to have a hand in every young reggae act the capital produces these days, is a pal and happily joins them on stage for a couple of songs. The addition of a second voice adds a rich serenity lacking at other points in the night, and the interplay between Cook and Benn's voice lifts the music. 

Admittedly, there's not a great deal on show here to set They Say Jump apart from their contemporaries. The formula put to work is, by and large, tried and tested. If you're hoping to walk away deep in thought, pondering what you've just seen and the impact it's had on your life and feelings about music, this sort of show is probably going to leave you disappointed. 

But if you're after a night out - something to lift your spirits, something to throw yourself into - then this is everything you'll ever need. This is, ultimately entertainment.

And as entertainers, the band put themselves at the top of the pile with an animated and infectious set, capped with the keyboardist proposing to his girlfriend. 

Whatever you reckon about public proposals, it made for a memorable evening and a touching moment for the band and their friends.  


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