Live Review: Jagwar Ma, Rescue Rooms (20/10/13)


Australian indie-dance act, Jagwar Ma, impress a full Rescue Rooms crowd with their take on 90s dance music.

Recently relocated to the UK, describing it as a more ‘logistical’ location in which to be based, Jagwar Ma have made their spot in the market entirely their own, creating a type of music that hasn’t been witnessed for almost twenty years. Yes, indie-dance is no unique genre and, in fact, now is as good a time for indie-dance as ever. However, Jagwar Ma focus on the psychedelic side of the spectrum, with their debut album, Howlin, sounding like The Stone Roses‘ sophomore effort would’ve done had John Squire immersed himself in the 90s dance scene rather than Led Zeppelin heavy-rock.

Bursting onto the scene with ‘What Love’, which was featured on FIFA 13, Jagwar Ma’s rise has been considerable over the past year, culminating in  a well-received debut album and a series of summer festival slots. Impact saw the Australian trio at Festival Number 6 at the end of the summer and we were surprised at just how heavy they were. That was no flash in the pan, as their trippy beats and sugar-sweet vocals were once again matched by loud waves of reverb-drenched guitars. Not quite the Hacienda experience some had expected, but triumphant all the same.

Beginning with the aforementioned ‘What Love’, Jagwar Ma fly through a set that samples exclusively from their debut album. ‘Man I Need’ is a euphoric moment, as the pre-chorus drop highlights just how effective their surprisingly heavy sound can be. ‘Come Save Me’ matches its recorded twin note for note, and it is just The Happy Mondays-esque ‘The Throw’ that doesn’t quite hit its high expectations.

Rescue Rooms can count itself lucky to have hosted Jagwar Ma at this point in their career. What will be interesting is where they go next, because no matter how good Howlin is, they can’t make the same album twice.

Alex Neely

…Alex is listening to Beach Fossils – ‘Clash The Truth’…


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