In a cavernous venue, so hot sweat was literally dripping from the walls and ceiling, Jamiroquai decided to test out and warm-up his band for their performance alongside Stevie Wonder on Saturday (at Hard Rock Calling, in Hyde Park).
The small venue, one of the smallest the band has played in years, definitely brought out the best of them, even if the fear of playing to 10,000+ people on Saturday was clear for all to see. Nervous jokes and forced movements to start with soon gave way to the Jamiroquai we all know with funky and sometimes spasmodic dancing and a quirky charm, all packed in tracksuit and (a smaller than previous) hat.
The first half of the show was definitely ironing out the kinks… however as each song went on the band got relaxed more, then JK relaxed more and then with famous opening chords of Virtual Insanity mid-set it seemed like everyone just let go and enjoyed the moment. As the tunes, new and old flowed, more and more people pushed forward and the intensity grew; this lead to more crazy dancing (from both crowd and band).
Defiantly a show for his fans as he pulled out classics such as Hooked Up and ended the set (pre-encore) with Just Another Story – or as he preferred “album two, track one!” We were also treated to one new song (because that apparently was all new record label Mercury would allow), Rock.Dust.Light.Star, which sounded a lot like 90s Jamiroquai a lot more Acid Jazz than the nu-funk of the later albums.
Anyone heading off to Hyde Park on Saturday will be treated to very good show (as long as JK can relax). There’s even room for than I saw as some essentials from the back catalogue, Seven Days In Sunny June and Talullah may still be worked in. Last night was billed as a practice for Saturday… what it turned in to was more a celebration of one of Britain best bands.