Saturday, March 24, 2012

Review: Jape- Farewell Show at Whelans

Whelans will always be the spiritual home of Irish musicians who cut their teeth in the 90's and naughties. So it was fitting that Jape bid farewell to Ireland to a sold out crowd in this venue, capping off an emotional week which saw the band win their second Choice Music Prize, for their fourth album 'Ocean of Frequency'. The joyous atmosphere in Whelans was palpable throughout the show, which acted as both victory parade and fond farewell for both band and crowd. Richie Egan and co did not disappoint delivering a phenomenal show, punctuated by moments of comedy, thanksgiving, and remembrance from a clearly emotional Egan.

Commencing with the feet-twitching beats of 'Hands of Fire' they embarked on an epic set of electro-rock at its finest. Egan, bounced about the stage swapping instruments at any opportunity like a one man Talking Heads minus the over sized suit. However, Jape, are by no means a one man show and bassist Glenn Keating, is as integral to the Jape sound as Egan is. The crowd lapped up the buoyant electro grooves of tracks liker 'I Am A Man' and 'Graveyard' before 'Floating' whipped them into 6th gear, via an extended intro.

The relentless pace of the show was outstanding as the band churned out electro grove, after electro groove, with barely a moments pause between songs "this is a new song" says Egan, introducing 'Ribbon, Ribbon, Ribbon' which offers hope to Jape fans that Egan's emigration to Sweden, does not mean the end of Jape, merely a well earned rest. The better known 'Christopher and Anthony' gets the crowd going once again before the highlight of the night so far. 'Please Don't Turn The Record Off'' is a perfect pop song and has every person in the room dancing By now the crowd is at Egan's, beck and call, and songs such as 'Too Many People' and 'The Oldest Mind' are gratefully received by the crowd

Jape, are joined by Davd Kitt, and Goodtime John, for the finale of 'To The Sea'Egan's attempts to instigate a poignant farewell, by asking the crowd to sing along to a quiet song, backfire, when a voice in the crowd cries "Here we go motherfuckers".  The resulting laughter on and off stage, is followed by several failed attempts ending in similar comedic fashion. Egan, is forced to give up in the end and "kick the fuck in". However, the outcome was probably better and more fitting than the ending Egan, had envisaged, as this was a time to celebrate, not to commiserate. Goodtime John, presented Egan, with a bottle of champagne, which he duly opened with his teeth. Drawing the last hurrah from an amazing crowd.  An early contender for gig of the year, even at mid March, this show will take some beating. Ireland's loss is very much Sweden's gain.

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