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MUSIC REVIEW - SAY JANSFIELD

 

This terrific three player experimental band played The Hard Rock Café in Manchester’s Printworks entertainment complex on Wednesday 28th February 2007, ably supported by the equally brilliant Monomania. 

 

            The three Say Jansfield performers, two male, and one lady, played a range of instruments old and new and in some cases they effortlessly and mischievously mixed in items that were not regarded as instruments at all, but which produced fascinating sound effects, including a rain-stick, and an electronic card reader such as they use in banks, which the band proudly called The Language Master.  I half expected Rolf Harris’s Stylophone to make an appearance too, but the band obviously draws a line somewhere.

            There were ordinary instruments too, including an acoustic guitar and a tambourine, though one of the bands also had a very small guitar to play too. A flute also appeared, appropriately in a song called Donkey Flute. The song King’s Ransom also gave their very modern sound a traditional medieval feel of the kind seen in the best fantasy novels.

            The overall sound was one of eerie synthesizer effect, with a folksy, fantasy air.

            There was a strong reminder of Supergrass in the aura of fun the band had about them

            The band also had a wide vocal range – songs changed key frequently and they seemed to hold some notes indefinitely, possibly being picked up as whale song in the distant oceans.

            I would have liked to pay more attention to the lyrics too, but a pain in the neck audience member who wouldn’t shut up despite several requests to let me watch the band in peace distracted me. After he grabbed my notepad to see what I was writing – notes for this very review – resulted in my grabbing it back and telling him to get lost, he bought me a pint by way of apology. Sadly his apology droned on through most of the rest of the act, until I told him to get lost again. At least it gives me a good excuse to see SJ again to catch up on what I missed because what I saw and heard was just great.

 

 

 SAY JANSFIELD – have their own Myspace page at http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=19656938 includes samples of their music, including a lovely cover version of The Beatles Norwegian Wood that they hadn’t played at the gig.

 

Arthur Chappell

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