Artist: The Jigantics
Venue: Groundlings Theatre, Old Portsmouth
Date: 3rd November 2013
A rainy Sunday afternoon in the cafe bar of this back street theatre and a packed house is treated to a blend of Folk Rock, Country, Traditional and Bluesy Roots material by a band of consummate professionals obviously loving what they do.
Leading off with a boisterous drinking song “Bad Liver And A Broken Heart”, the five piece demonstrated their versatility of musicianship with a constantly revolving selection of instruments over a wide range of material. A Reggae infused “Johnny Too Bad” with mandolin and fiddle preceded a fine rendition of ‘The Valley’ with vocalist Marion Fleetwood inspired by KD Lang’s version of a song about two people who see each other from a distance but never speak. Some deft guitar from Rick Edwards underpinned her superbly evocative vocal and violin.
A change to stick bass from newest recruit Lyndon Webb for a Country tinged ‘Hold On’ led to the first set highlight ‘Curve Of My Back’, a poignant and interesting self-penned song about the history of an old Neapolitan mandolin with a lovely studied vocal from Marion. An always topical piece, ‘I Ain’t Ever Satisfied’ on the curse of materialism, brought an end to a first set.
With food being served at the crowded tables and the trade at the tiny bar accompanying a backdrop of clatter from the busy kitchen, and the relaxed rapport built up by the easy informality of the band, the mood was ripe for a foot on the gas, and fittingly the second half kicked off in fine style with a couple of Blues ‘train’ songs which really suited the raspy vocal of front-man Mark Cole who also blew some fine harp.
No surprise here given that their alter egos include the excellent Sons Of The Delta. Some lovely slide from Rick Edwards too, before another change of pace as drummer Martin Fitzgibbon took lead vocal on ‘Lakes Of The Ponchartrain’.
Another Bluesy rocker upped the tempo, before a tour de force powerful vocal and fiddle playing on folk classic ‘The Willow’. Mark Cole then led out on the evergreen classic ‘The Weight’ with ample opportunity for some rousing audience participation.
‘Wild Goosechase’ a lovely piece on an 87 year-old mandolin and a Country tinged folk encore brought an end all too soon to a splendid afternoons entertainment. Plenty of light and shade, and depth in a multifaceted set, the only disappointment being that their brand new CD “Daisy Roots” was still at the pressing plant.