What I Learnt From… Jamiroquai

Last night, I went out for a curry and ended up going to a concert.  We’d had Jamiroquai booked in for a while, but I was looking forward to the food maybe a little bit more.

We went to Mowgli in Manchester, by virtue of nearly everyone I know seemingly knowing the owner.  I melt when I eat spicy food so I scanned the menu for something that looked mild.  Mowgli is what I would call Indian tapas, but that I believe goes under the name “street food”, so you order a few dishes.  I went for protein (butter chicken), carb (roti) and veg, but the veg was hard to pick.

I went for green ginger and rhubarb dahl.  It arrived and we all tried it and the best we could come up with was that it was “interesting”.  No-one felt compelled to call it nice or awful, and it wasn’t wrong but saying that it was right was wrong and this is getting pretty complicated, so “interesting” really was the best word.

Ice cream was had too (we were running early so I hatched a sneaky plan to fit in two ice creams – once at the restaurant, once at the gig) and we headed to the Arena.

I’d love to be able to tell you about the support act, but one DJ on a stage in a 15,000 person arena didn’t really catch my attention.

Jamiroquai came on at about 20.30.  It’s worth pointing out that the only Jamiroquai songs I know are from Now CDs when I was a teenager, before the days when you can download odd tracks that you want without having to bother with whole albums.  The other things I know about the band are that Jay Kay is loaded, has lots of expensive cars that he can drive quickly, and that he wears silly hats.

The hat failed to disappoint until it ran out batteries and ceased to light up and move for a few songs.

What I went for, other than it being a good excuse to see friends I hadn’t seen for a while, was for the show and to see whether a musical genre that I wouldn’t normally describe myself as being a fan of might start appealing to me.

The show kinda achieved it.  The lights were spectacular without being head and shoulders about anything else I’ve already seen and definitely sitting below Muse.

The music, though, was like my dahl.  It interested me rather than excited me or disappointed me.  The size of the band intrigued me because there were two drummers and two keyboard players (plus the guitarist, bassist, DJ and three backing singers).  The songs were, to me, very much a mix of single parts that didn’t always tie together.

I know that I can’t dance because I generally lack any form of grace, but if the music’s right I do feel compelled to move or jump or whatever.  My air guitar is amazing.  I looked around the crowd and people were dancing and feeling it and I just wasn’t.

But I was interested.  I was interested to see how the band played together, what the audience reacted to and that it was the old songs and that they had certain elements that the new ones didn’t.

It was a learning experience, and I didn’t really expect that from a curry and a concert.

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