Out with the old, in with the new, that’s the Jimmy Cake philosophy these days. Having finally honed their orchestral influences on last year’s Spectre and Crown album, they have decided to go away and dream it all up again. Partly this has been necessitated by the loss of one member and his accordion but also you feel because, well, strings and brass and stuff are nice but right now the Jimmy Cake want to get loud and dirty. All that is to come later tonight at this State Presents…show, but first we must really bring in the new. Limerick’s Vox Populi too play instrumental music and, like the headliners, have had to find a way of presenting it. Reduced to a three piece earlier this year, they wear their post-rock influences on their collective sleeves but are still a stirring prospect tonight, albeit one that needs to dominate the room a bit more. Put it down to lack of experience but just as they suck the audience in with another clever tune they lose the momentum again. Nevertheless one for us to keep an eye on.
It’s our ears, not our eyes, that are first assaulted when Jogging burst into life. Man are they loud, not simply in terms of volume, but just through the sheer energetic mayhem that comes off the stage. Formed from the well thought of Coldpsoon Conspiracy, Jogging play with an abandon sadly missing in most Irish bands. To say that they’re all over the place is in fact a compliment, bouncing vocals back and forth hardcore stylee and mixing frantic rhythms with nasty guitar and bass, topped off by suitably shouty vocals. They are truly excellent and you should check them out pronto, not least supporting the equally unhinged Bats and spiritual forebears The Redneck Manifesto.
The Jimmy Cake open with a new song. Not just any new song, but one lasting fifteen minutes. As statements of intent go, it’s a doozy. Somewhere around the seven minute mark, it breaks down into a monster riff, hammered at us over and over again, before rediscovering the concept of melody at the track’s epic close. They follow it with another newie. And another. And another. As we said, this is all about looking forward. So what do we get from the Jimmy Cake in 2009? Less and more, as it happens. There is certainly less instrumentation than of late, with only the welcome sounds of clarinet and trumpet to lighten the tone. Used sparingly, they provide a welcome counterpoint to the heavy, heavy bass and drums that drive the new material. It’s certainly not pretty but thankfully they haven’t lost their ability to weave a wonderful tune, just giving it a good deal more welly this time. Like the other two bands on the bill tonight this is still something of a work in progress but, despite the challenges it sets, their forty five minutes seem to pass in the blink of an eye and leaves us most definitely wanting more. When that will come in recorded form remains to be seen, but for now this newly energised, rebooted Jimmy Cake are indeed making a glorious racket.