The hype machine can be a double-edged sword for lesser-known bands looking to make a lasting mark on the swirling vortex of modern day music. A memorable SoundCloud stream or enthusiastic review from the right place can create such a cloud of expectation that a slightly underwhelming live show will eliminate all chances of long-term success.
Jungle are a West London duo, although you’d be forgiven for having no idea of their identity as they seem to be the most anonymous band around. They first made waves in June when they released their video for 'Platoon', featuring B-Girl Terra breakdancing for a solid 2.59 minutes. Despite the distinct resemblance to a Dairy Milk advert, it certainly did the job and Jungle’s swirly funk began getting noticed.
The band maintained their mystique up until the last minute, when the curtains were drawn back and a seven-strong band were revealed complete with backing singers and some sort of percussion instrument made of dangling glass Coca Cola bottles. From the first synth chord and handclap beat, the crowd were overcome with unanimous shuffles and sways. These were not a band for the stationary. The obvious excitement that was heard from the audience when the commentary that marked the start of 'The Heat' was remarkable, considering the band have only had their music online for a couple of months, and only been making music as Jungle since the start of the year.
The remarkable thing about Jungle’s live show is how polished they seem for a headline tour debut. The smooth melodies heard on record are complemented by the range of instrumentation used in the live show, and harmonies enhanced the layered sound that made the room heavy with sound. The more mellow 'Lucky I Got What I Want' was followed by song new material 'Son Of A Gun' and 'Crime ||', with sufficient groove and melody to give us high hopes of the boys having more up their sleeves for future releases. 'Platoon' came to the delight of everyone involved. It is an incredibly strong single; the off-beat pulse and echoing reverb give it a uniqueness that is infectious.
The set seemed noticeably short at just seven songs, but that’s to be expected with a band so newborn. Jungle did not disappoint, and if anything the hype made the whole experience more exciting. With no confirmation of plans for a full LP, we wait with bated breath to hear more from the most addictive duo in town.
Words: Louise Caldwell