As part of The Great Frog Music, we’re getting behind ‘The Jonesing Jams’, a new live music concept in London where individual musicians get hand picked as members of a one night only supergroup who’ll perform an improv jam in front of an audience. The first one, ‘Worlds Collide’ was held at London’s 93 Feet East, and featured singer and guitarist Matt Reynolds of HECK and HCBP, GNOB and Sonic Mass bassist Ben Kenobi-Marflar, Jonny Halifax of Honkeyfinger and The Howling Truth on lapsteel and harmonica, and Swedish Death Candy drummer Marco Ninni. Support came all the way from the land of ice and snow, in the form of Bergen based psych band Shaman Elephant.
Outtake from Simon Shoulders’ review for ‘Rock at Night‘:
“The evening’s entertainment begins as Bergen’s Shaman Elephant take to the stage clad in a suite of Elephant shirts freshly acquired in the markets of Camden for this very gig. Their sound is firmly rooted in 60’s and 70’s prog and psychedelic rock with which the stylised representations of members of the order Proboscidea adorning the band’s clothes, the lead singer’s bandanna and the spiralling kaleidoscopic visuals lighting the band fit perfectly. The solid combination of Jard Hole’s drumming and Ole-Andreas Sæbø Jensen rolling and mesmeric bass guitar playing forms a rock-hard, groove-laden bastion from which the keys of Jonas Særsten and guitar of frontman and volcalist Eirik Sejersted Vognstølen sally forth through the haze with some truly blistering solos. There’s a freshness to Shaman Elephant’s sound that the performance is both compelling and a pleasure to watch.
Then we’re on to the main event, finding out whether there’ll be magic when four musicians from really quite different backgrounds come together to jam live. The smiles between guitarist and vocalist Matt Reynolds from the pure noise that is Heck and the rock’n’roll two piece HCBP and Jonny Halifax from the alt-blues bands Honkyfinger and Jonny Halifax and the Howling Truth on harmonica, lap steel and vocals hint at a palpable and growing chemistry that builds and really begins to spark as the jam continues. Marco Ninni, drummer from experimental psych rock band Swedish Death Candy drives the bands’s beat at ferocious pace which seems to be the perfect starting point for bassist Ben-“Kenobi”-Marflar from eastern inspired psych band GNOB, to lay down some suitable filthy and darkly funk-laden bass rhythms upon creating a cohesive and compelling foundation upon which Matt and Jonny could freestyle and explore each others sound.
This hand-picked supergroup works and you can’t help but be swept along with them. You can see the pure joy of creating something new the band experience from from every twist and turn of the jam. So, did The Jonesing Jams “Worlds Collide” deliver? As far as the crowd was concerned, the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes!”. This is partly a tribute to the quality and talent of the musicians themselves but perhaps more of a salute to the sprit they shared in being the first to rise to the challenge of jamming live in front of an audience creating a spectacular and ephemeral sound you’ll only ever have the chance to hear once…”
Photos by Simon Shoulders and Emily Power.