Live at Mixing Tin on Saturday, 7th January 2006
It's just like any other Saturday night. You're having a good ol' laugh with your mates down at the tin. Drunken dancing... a must... of course! You're working up a bit of a sweat. There's ample room to manoeuvre and between dance-off sessions you're making those all important trips to the bar... 'keeping the juices a flow and all that'. Just as you think it couldn't get any better an esteemed drunkard informs you that Jack Afro will be taking to the stage any time soon... cue entry of 'the masses' and prepare yourselves for an ultimate squash fest.
Saturday's 23rd hour saw the cheeky chappies at long last take to the Mixo stage, kicking things off nicely with a definite 'crowd pleaser' of a tune... setting the audience up for what would indeed turn out to be a corker of a night. The upbeat melodies and harmonious 60's/70's style vocals really do set them apart from other acts 'hopping' on and off the Leeds Live circuit bandwagon. And up until this point, I had yet to come across a band with such a definitive 'retro' influence, and more importantly who were able to pull it off.
Experimenting with the 60's/70's muso generation... a generation which is still so unbelievably influential and still very much true to its time, is a major task in itself and has the potential of "all going to pot" ...but Jack Afro's "let's not take ourselves too seriously" stance, mingled with undeniable stage presence and that all important issue of being able to play their instruments and provide a bit of vocal action to boot... has meant they are well on their way to perfecting it to a 'T'.
The lads really throw themselves into their performance. "Chic-a-dee" in particular seeing an energetic Crossley launch himself into the crowd for some aesthetically pleasing riffage... bewildered "front-rowers" being caught completely off guard, but applauding his efforts all the same.
Spontaneity need not be questioned when it comes to Jack Afro!
The enthusiasm exuded by the lads on stage and their inter-track banter kept the crowd in high spirits throughout, and the simple lyrics of the "choons" warranted a good ol' sing-a-long.
The contrasting vocals of Crossley and Kerr only served to compliment one another...with Crossley's vox being of the more wacky/retro/zany variety and Kerr providing a far more subtle, gravelly undertone. Overall the band performed a tight set, and with Dymond on keys and Ruggy on drums... the foundation was well and truly set for a rifftastic night.