Jaya The Cat – Camden Underworld

By paul

Jaya the Cat
Friday 3 April 2009
Underworld, Camden
Support: Los Kung Fu Monkeys + The Skints + Dirty Revolution

A few people are milling around outside the Underworld before doors but it?s a noticeably small amount. After Jaya the Cat made its first trip to these shores last November, impressing all that witnessed the Amsterdam based US reggae punk troop, it?s a shame that there?s not a little more buzz about things. Still, this is fashionably late London and another irritatingly early Friday evening start. Things are bound to pick up.

Cardiff?s Dirty Revolution acts as a warm welcome to the slow patter of feet coming through the door. The quartet plays a slightly restrained 30 minutes, combining tracks from the Do The Dog Records released E.P. ?It?s Gonna Get Dirty?? with a smattering of newer offerings. It?s a reggae-punk offering with the emphasis on the reggae, flaunting a chilled-out air. A few revellers skank their way through the set but there?s a noticeable uptake for the anti-Nazi mantra that is ?I Love Reggae?. A solid set that deserves a larger audience. (3/5)

Everywhere you look at the moment you see London dirty reggae mob The Skints, and trust me, that?s not about to change anytime soon. Tonight proves that the extended crowd the quartet drew last month with Chris Murray was no fluke. The band responds to the heightened interest with a typically lenient set interspersed with some raucously in-your-face moments. It?s a duality that alongside a rare triumvirate of vocalists really marks the band out. (4)

Tonight sees the debut London performance of Los Kung Fu Monkeys, a true fun-time party band. Hustling out of Tijuana, Mexico, this sixteen-legged latino beast sets out a stall early with some really, really fast ska punk. There?s barely time to breath as the band squeezes itself onto a shortened stage and hurls out a barrage of rump-shakers. Some of it?s in English, some in Spanish, all of it?s delivered with a never ending smile. A cover of The Cure?s ?Boys Don?t Cry? is a treat that builds on a set jovial enough to undermine the rather muddy Underworld sound. (3)

Jaya the Cat is just about the most chilled-out band on the planet. Exhibit number one: Geoff Lagadec?s distinctively tranquil the-world-goes-at-my-pace vocals. Exhibit two: onstage everything just seems so unimaginably smooth. Exhibit three: a thankfully padded-out crowd agreeably responds to the music with sways for the slow numbers and a clamorous bustle for the faster songs as though it never has a choice. For fans this is exactly what was expected.

Whereas last term?s tour was made up mostly of tracks from most recent album ?More Late Night Transmissions With??, tonight is a real mixed bag, dredging the depths of a four album back-catalogue and skimming from some recently written material. It?s all very much an influenced mix of ?Life Won?t Wait? era Rancid, fellow Bostonians The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and a slew of Jamaican legends (?Thank You Reggae? works as a nice roll call for those taking notes).

Despite the obviously impressed audience there?s a sense that the band is holding something in reserve, both on the night and in general. There?s more to come and at the moment we?re merely being weaned onto the whole Jaya experience. But with a couple more tours in the pipeline there?s a suggestion that Jaya the Cat might just be a name that starts popping up on a few more radars. (4)

Alex Hambleton