With jubilant life affirming lyrics, such as “Celebrate what it is to be young.” It was fitting that The Grand Social picked Jape to lead the celebrations at their second birthday party. The group would deliver a vibrant performance of material from their award-winning albums and treat the crowd to several new songs destined for the bands next album.
Electro duo White Collar Boy were given the privilege of getting the party started and more than held their own with an enjoyable set, consisting mostly of atmospheric instrumental tracks, which set the mood perfectly for what was to follow. The lights dimmed to pitch black as Jape took to the stage, but the band had brought a special surprise to the party, their very own light show. Four strips of light would cast the band in silhouette for the duration, as pulsating light was emitted from over their shoulders. Cleverly for a band with an album entitled ‘Ocean Of Frequency’ the light show would culminate in a formation resembling a television test card. A knowing reference to the recent digital switchover which had released its own ocean of frequency.
One of the most interesting things about Jape’s live show is that it can can take on several different configurations, with an emphasis on either live or electronic instrumentation and the band’s ranks can swell or diminish for each permutation. Tonight Jape would be performing as a duo with frontman Richie Egan and multi instrumentalist Glen Keating presenting their material primarily with the help of synths and triggers. Hands In Fire and Too Many People quickly set the pace with Jape’s signature thinking mans pop, before new song After Collapse offered a dark brooding alternative. Indeed much of Jape’s new material, such as Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon feels more like sonic sculptures then traditional songs. However, afro-beat tinged Woman retained Jape’s more upbeat and playful side, with Glen Keating furiously swinging a tambourine with all of his might.
Ocean Of Frequency and Strike Me Down commenced a swell of crowd interaction before The Oldest Mind instigated an en mass singalong of “Celebrate what it is to be young.” With the band breaking the song down and turning the lights up on the crowd to prolong the moment of unity. Just as it seemed the performance couldn’t get any better Floating turned things up to eleven. A long teasing intro eventually erupted into the crowd singing every word of the song.
Jape never cease to entertain and every show is a unique experience of the highest order. They are without a doubt one of the finest bands this country has ever produced and it’s just a matter of time before the rest of the world realises.