So, it's been a while since acts like Queen (who formed at IC), Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix played around college back when the mighty CCU's and RAG organised charity carnivals. All is not lost though as today?s Jazz and Rock society organises jam nights to help musicians play together on an ad lib basis, i.e to jam. The jam night is an open mic night affair bringing in random punters with equally random instruments be it guitars, basses, drum sticks, vocal chords, fingers, flutes, violins, tambourines, triangles etc. Heck, once a guy even bought in a hollow pipe to use as a percussive instrument, obviously a Chemical Engineering student. The idea is to have some fun making lots of noise on stage and meet like-minded musicians while enjoying a few drinks with friends.
The night kicked off as committee members did some groovy rhythmic guitar based jamming and with the sound of live music pouring out of the room, more people starting coming in. Jonesy and the boys then went on stage next and played some chillin, relaxing reggae to add a colourful vibe to dB's. One of the members described it as stunning reggae and wailed out "jammmmmin".
Next was Elias C who plays a mixture of absolutely stunning acoustic Mediterranean music, blues and post punk type material. His fingers moved effortlessly on his new guitar and as he was clearly immersed in the bliss of his own music, other randoms joined in on stage. With the addition of a rhythm section the jam took on the shape of the classic 12 bar blues. An excited harmonica player then got on stage and improvised some soulful harmonica phrases. The blues jam had plenty of soul, that?s for sure.
After Firecclub varied assortment of musicians, with violins, guitar, bass and later on drums and keyboard. They seemed to be going for the ambient sound with a nice airy sound coming from the violins. By now the night was going full flow, everyone was enjoying the wide assortment of music and the beer was easing up things. Adios Mr. Morose performed some original songs next with the soulful Anastasia on vocals. DonkeyBox followed and did some Red Hot Chilli Peppers covers that went down well. In true jam night fashion they then proceeded to butcher the pop classic Hit Me One More Time by rocking it up, some credibility to the original was still kept however with Anastasia providing some excellent backing vocals.
Ember Daze, a.k.a. the triple Al band went on stage next. Clearly well established they had a tight rock sound with a good range of dynamics going from full on crescendo's to quieter sullen moments. It was also quite rare to see an excellent drummer double up as an equally excellent vocalist. With Mr. McKinley on guitar, Mr. Pidgeon on drums, Alex on vocals, Alex 2 on bass, another random assortment pulled off a cracking version of the Strait's classic, Money For Nothing. For the last act, The Shakes came on and did an absolutely storming version 60's classic Louie Louie. ICU musician and celebrity Will Dugdale and yours truly were on the keyboard.
All in all it was an enjoyable music fest enjoyed by all, who were using the jam night as the perfect excuse to de-stress from the perils of exam revision. The evening was a little unusual that on this occasion no one played any type of jazz on stage. No doubt the Jazz will be back in Jazz & Rock for the next totally amazing instalment of the jam night.