Adult Jazz at the Royal Festival Hall, London 27.08.2015

Adult Jazz, a band who laid down their first album whilst studying in Leeds, provide an organic blend of post-rock, alt, folk and a little bit of jazz. Playing alongside Young Marble Giants at this years Meltdown Festival the four-piece opted for a more interesting stage set up; as half the band shifted between a drum kit, a trombone and various minimalist percussion instruments, singer Harry Burgess impressed with vocals that sounded as effortlessly distinct live as they do recorded. The majority of their set was spent with tracks from their debut album ‘Gist Is’, beginning with the carefully constructed silences of the somewhat beautifully jaunty ‘Hum’.

‘Springful’ will always be one of the band’s bumpy stand out tracks, beginning smooth and bluesy before playing out to dragging percussion and breezy but structured vocals. Adult Jazz’s typically irregular song structure and lyrical anthology of half finished thoughts juxtapose one another but mesh seamlessly, giving the impression of a band who are playing (or creating) for the of sake expression and exploration.

Pretty percussion layers with vocals and bristly electronic riffs which dip in and out, leaving tracks ‘Am Gone’, ‘Idiot Mantra’ and ‘Gist Is’ feeling gracefully piecey and lyrically distinctive. ‘Be A Girl’ was a notable highlight, with lyrics that contemplate the confines of manliness, it’s intriguingly poetic without feeling verbose or overdone. Towards the end of their set they introduced three more brass players (“the hornsmen of the apocalypse”) to the stage to showcase some newer material; ‘Eggshells’ has all the familiarity of the band’s typically unusual song structure with earthily textured, jazzy hooks.

Despite frequent and potentially overstated comparisons appearing between Adult Jazz and fellow experimental frontiers Alt J (such as them both happening to have met at Leeds), Adult Jazz have an entirely new sound. With their cut and paste DIY style they remain unique without feeling pretentious, producing a performance that feels crafted but gritty, convincing and secure in its own style.

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