Nicolas Jaar @ The Roundhouse
On February 2nd, I made my way down to The Roundhouse in Camden to experience Nicolas Jaar, and a couple or his record label buddies, live on the Clown & Sunset Showcase tour. I was lucky enough to catch Nicolas Jaar last time he was in town at Fabric in Smithfield, which I have to say was one of the best live shows I have ever experienced. No wonder he was voted the number one live act in the Resident Advisor polls last year. I can’t remember voting, but it is an accolade well deserved.
Jaar, a 22-year-old American-Chilean musician, has been at the forefront of electronic music since 2010. He has a string of EPs to his name and his debut album Space Is The Only Noise, which dropped a year ago to this very month, received huge critical acclaim from just about every amateur and professional music media outlet. Again, the evident consensus is well deserved. Anything and everything that Jaar produces is widely talked about in the music press; whether it is a track with an unlikely collaborator in the form of Scout LaRue, the teenage daughter of of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, or his new self-proclaimed ‘Rock’ project DARKSIDE. And, yet again, it is all deserved. His music is interesting, innovative and nothing like anything else out there, which is why I couldn’t resist the London leg of his tour.
It was absolutely freezing, with inches of snow falling the next day, but that didn’t matter once you were inside the dome-shaped building at full capacity. Dome-shaped because, of course, The Roundhouse is a former railway engine ‘shed’ where once upon a time trains had to be turned around, instead of having an engine at either end. Jaar came out to little or no applause, as it was dark and no one noticed him coming onstage. He started with an enormous piano piece, played live, which served to reinforce his musical talents, but probably bummed out some of the younger crowd who were there to dance to his more electronic and bass heavy discography. But, they too were not let down as the rest of the hour and a half was full of it. Jaar played an eclectic mix of tracks from his album, EPs and newer singles and edits. At the end he was even joined by guitarist David Harrington, the other half of DARKSIDE. Another show I will not forget, as long as my mind lets.
Until next time… Andy.