It seems that The Jungle Giants have not been holding back since I saw them perform at Alhambra last year. At the time they had just released ‘You’ve Got Something’ from their 2102 She’s a Riot EP and were fresh from BIGSOUND Live. Since then they’ve toured with The Vaccines and Two Door Cinema Club, and hit up well known producer Magoo to work on their new album at Applewood. What’s more, it doesn’t look like they’ll let up anytime soon.
With the album release only weeks away, the band has been touring their newest single ‘I Am What You Want Me To Be’, across the eastern state capitals. The Brisbane gig saw them playing straight after fellow Brisbane five piece The Belligerents, who had clearly warmed up the crowd. Before I had even passed under the psychedelic, paper lights of Oh Hello, The Jungle Giants were launching into the screaming guitar bridge of ‘You’ve Got Something‘. It was an instant reminder of why they are such a good live band; that energetic sound just fills the room and wraps you up.
This gig was the band’s chance to show off new songs to their home town. They’ve clearly been pushing themselves and their song writing, with lead singer Sam Hales singing higher and with more range than on previous outings. The band was also unafraid to test out their newer music, in particular ‘Home’, which eased the crowd into a more serious state. Of course, it wasn’t long before upbeat guitar riffs kick in again and you found yourself dancing.
The beautiful arrangements of the newer songs seemed oddly appropriate against the cat gifs projected on the walls of Oh Hello. The four piece have added just the right dash of quirkiness to their indie pop, and alongside favorites like ‘She’s a Riot’, it makes for an insanely good live show. The stage energy was so positive – on the one side bassist Andrew Dooris was bouncing around and stirring up the crowd. How the hell he never missed a beat, I’ll never know. A nice contrast to ever-cool guitarist Cesira Aitken on the other side, perfectly hammering out chords, with Keelan Bijker confidently thrashing out the beats at the back.
The band really knows how to flirt with their audience too, and that’s why you want to see this band again and again. At one point Sam, having trouble with his onstage red wine, had someone at the front pour him a glass. This true gentleman was rewarded with a band inspired round of applause. There was the usual banter between Cesira and Sam – not that anyone believed Sam’s comment about her nipples – it was far too warm inside! And to top it off, we were treated to an incredible, impromptu crowd surf by Andrew. Seriously, take a look:
He made his way back safely from what was one of the best surfs they’d had. The set ended with a bouncing rendition of ‘I Am What You Want Me To Be’; the promise of new ideas and bloody awesome hooks that will push The Jungle Giants even higher. After the taster of this performance, I cannot wait for the new album. It’s due it late August, so in the meantime check out the video for ‘I Am What You Want Me To Be’!