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Live: Jagwar Ma

Jagwar Ma descended on a packed, raucous Gorilla on Thursday night with new material from their upcoming second album



Thursday 26th May

Equipped with new material from their upcoming follow-up to 2013’s Howlin’, Jagwar Ma descended on a packed, raucous Gorilla on Thursday night. With Jono Ma hard at work at the sonic control panel, the baggy Sydneysiders warmed up the crowd with Howlin’ favourites such as ‘Man I Need’ and ‘Exercise’—full of the usual pounding, electro-rhythm.

Despite the solid opening, the highlight of the gig was the new material that dominated the middle part of the set. Three years since their last release, the new album seems like it will be worth the wait. Continuing their dance-rock-crossover signature sound, the new songs were full of the captivating rhythm and melody changes that their groove-loaded debut album lacked, and were lapped up inside Gorilla. The band created a club-like atmosphere but still managed to accommodate the rock n roll dimension expected from them.

Jono Ma produced bass with a serious punch, as some new songs sounded almost Chemical Brothers-esque. A considerable array of sounds were on display, including dense electro-dub, foghorns, and some aeroplane drone music that crescendoed into take-off—up went the tray tables and off went the seatbelt sign. There’s not much information on their new material as of yet, and all I know is that it sounds great and features a song called ‘Obi Wan’.

Frontman Gabriel Winterfield continued his Ian Brown impersonation—although he lacked the dollar-necked t-shirt and remained in tune for most of the set. Expecting a quiet Thursday night, security had their work cut out as anarchy and failed crowd surfing attempts erupted across the venue. An encore featuring ‘Come and Save Me’ concluded a chaotic, brilliant set that is sure to heighten anticipation of their second album.