Jungle: Bringing back the soul

London funk outfit brings 70s funk into 2019 at MTelus

Jungle, a band from London signed to XL Recordings, is currently on tour promoting their 2018 album, For Ever. On March 17, the 70s funk band stopped in Montreal to perform at MTelus. The show opened with alternative rock band Houses; Heavy guitar and drum beats filled the air at the antique-style venue and perfectly set the scene for the show. Jungle will be followed by Houses on their tour throughout the U.S.

Jungle arrived on stage around 9 p.m. after much anticipation from the crowd. A large sign hung high, displaying their logo in bright lights. Just below, a stage filled with smoke slowly cleared and revealed the seven band members in formation, with “J” and “T,” the founders of the band, leading in the front row. Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland have been friends since childhood—and formed the group in 2013.

They jumped right into their first single, “Smile,” and the crowd sung along. The most captivating thing about Jungle is how accurate their live renditions of their music are. They sound spectacular; it’s almost hard to believe. They didn’t miss a single beat, and their harmonies were synchronized perfectly. They performed “Heavy California” next, and their energy was contagious.

Nearing the end of their performance, the band walked off the stage without a word. Fans instantly began to call for them and sing the Habs-appropriated bullfighting anthem, “olé olé olé olé, olé olé.” They walked back onto the stage, and without hesitation, played one of their number one hits, “Casio.” It was exhilarating to see everyone singing along and appreciating the music. They closed the show with “Busy Earnin’,” from their first studio album, Jungle. This song originally reached the U.K. top 50 Independent Singles in 2014, catapulting their career.

Many people went to the back of the venue to wait by the tour bus and catch a glimpse of some of the band members. Others wrote the band members’ names on the tour bus as a final ode to an amazing show that truly enamored all who attended.

Touring the world, Jungle’s next show will be in Liverpool on March 31.


Coco Hames – Coco Hames

Coco Hames – Coco Hames (Merge Records, 2017)

If music were a time machine, Coco Hames would take you back to the 1970s. Her classic vintage sound will make you want to dance around in the sunshine with flowers in your hair. Her opening track, “When You Said Goodbye,” has a distinct 70s pop melody along with relatable lyrics about heartbreak. “I Do Love You” is reminiscent of songs from the 70s pop group ABBA. The track “I Don’t Wanna Go” has more of a garage-band sound, with its repetitive, upbeat guitar riffs, coupled with playful lyrics. Her lyrics are witty and revolve around heartbreak, mostly focusing on unrequited love. Her song “If You Ain’t Mine” distinguishes itself with its soft keyboard melodies and Hames’ sultry voice. “Tiny Pieces” is a cover of the original 90s country-pop hit by Tommy Stinson, which she sings as a duet with John McCauley a member of American alternative rock band, Deer Tick. The last few tracks of the album have more of a country-folk feel to them, which gives the album instrumental variety. Hames’ first studio album successfully combines the hippy, bohemian pop songs of the 70s with a soft, folk-rockish feel.

Trial Track: “When You Said Goodbye”

Rating: 8/10

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