Sunday 1 December 2019

On Stage: Jungle By Night

I remember when I saw Jungle By Night for the first time. It was a free performance at the traveling theatre festival De Parade and must have been around nine years ago. Nine teenagers played refreshing and swinging afrobeat songs and I loved it. The boys have grown up and are now celebrating their tenth anniversary.

Jungle By Night at Paradiso Amsterdam, November 28 2019

They looked quite shy back then and a little surprised by the enthusiastic response they were getting from all the people who were dancing to their music. Afrobeat wasn't exactly a hip music genre at the time but had a bit of an old fashioned image. I'd like to think that this band had a part in changing that, transforming it into a modern and exciting music genre, loved by many young people. Tonight the band is partying, celebrating ten years of hard work that paid off. Since the band is traveling the world now, playing lots of shows, making people dance all around the globe.

Their music has transformed as well, exploring new grounds, from seventies funk to psychedelic and space disco. Many of the band members have attended music colleges and all have grown into incredible musicians. Now the young men aren's shy any more, but stand on stage with a lot of confidence and a ton of experience. Fortunately not everything has changed, because the youthful enthusiasm and sheer joy in playing and performing their music together is still there, judging from the happy faces on stage.

It's a delight to see this band play and to have witnessed it grow into this well-oiled hot swinging groove machine it is today. Every single one of them gets a moment in the spot lights today and they all eagerly take this moment to shine. The horns section is of course very important and boy, trumpet player Bo Floor's sound is amazing. The engine of this band is without a doubt the rhythm section that makes sure the groove never stops. There's a lot of percussion which lifts this groove even more and spices up the music.

Guitar player Jac van Exter and keys player Pyke Pasman add the sparkle, that pinch of magic which is the icing on this tasteful cake. Tonight the band makes this cake even more tastier, turning it into a proper birthday cake. They play for more than two hours and turn the sold out venue into a true dancing party, a lovely celebration of their music. Everyone inside is more than willing to party with them and dance to the irresistible grooves. Fortunately the band assures us they still have no intension to slow down and promises to celebrate their next anniversary in ten years time again on this same spot. Of course I'm so there!

All Pictures

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