After a jam session on the piano in the quirkiest shop in Brighton (Knowledge), I was given a treasure. Scribbled on a piece of paper was a recommendation from the shop manager, who said, “You should check out this band, your music reminds me of these guys.” As soon as I returned home I typed it straight into the Youtube search bar, and had a listen. Sometimes I truly see the wonders of this cyber world we live in, that it can be so simple to find a band.
The band is called Molotov Jukebox and their music gripped me instantly, so I knew I had to get to Concorde2 on the 10th Dec to experience their gyp-step-dance fest for myself, and what a Christmas banger it was! They careered on stage with festive panache. Kitted out with christmas tree sunglasses, fairy lights in their hair, and santa hats, they may have been dressed for the season but the atmosphere inside the venue was far from cold. It was impossible to deny the positive vibes exploding round the room.
The London based six piece is led by Natalia Tena (as seen in Game of Thrones and Harry Potter). Her voice is a mix of delicate breathiness and righteous attitude. The lyrics are human, you can feel the realness of it, that’s what lacks in so much music these days. The tongue in cheek wit, which she naturally embodies, reels you in and the use of voice within the backing vocals brings a theatrical, big band vibe to the sound.
A particularly memorable moment in the set was a song about having an ‘existential crisis’. The chorus sang, ‘I’m trying, I’m trying, I’m trying so hard’. I think all of us have experienced this, definitely us students, that feeling of not being sure of our place in the world yet. There was a huge sense of camaraderie as I looked around me and saw a sea of grinning faces, chanting along and leaping in time with the raucous beat. The band’s stage presence was electric, they involved every single member of the audience and they even picked out their favourite dancer, not me unfortunately.
Sam Apley is on violin, and his vocals harmonise beautifully, lifting you up alongside that latin/cabaret style trumpet by Angus Moncrieff. Accompanied with Natalia’s Accordion, Adam Burke’s guitar and the rock solid rhythm section of Tom Wilson on Bass and Rami Sherrington on Drums, you get a unique kaleidoscope of sonic fervour that shook us all out of our winter stupor and will be sure to get crowds going for many years to come.
What a pleasure to have stumbled upon this imaginative, uplifting fantasia. Their album Carnival Flower is out now and can be bought on iTunes or Amazon Mp3. The band are currently finishing their tour off in Mexico and Greece but keep your eyes peeled for their next UK date, this band are not to be missed.
Written by Charlie O’Connor