The best way to start is to tell you about the first time I saw this band.
The Barn On The Farm festival was entering its second day and there were a lot of sore heads around. Most of the early music on the Sunday had been acoustic sets, which had been perfect to ease the festival-goers into Sunday’s action. I had been told that a must-see would be Jasper In The Company Of Others, who had been at every BOTF since the band had formed in 2011. The Wooden Barn at this festival is a wonderful venue. The band perform from the hayloft and the acoustics are tremendous. It was drizzly, people were moving slowly. Then, this band that I had never heard of blew the roof off of the entire Festival. Playing their own fusion of folk/indie with a passion that had many of the festival goers declaring them, “band of the weekend”, they were the perfect antidote to a sleepy Sunday morning and for me were one of the main highlights of the festival. I even got my picture with the guys, who were very approachable despite looking like the crew of the Black Pearl.
Move on eight months and I was delighted to see that they would be playing my home County of Kent. So it was with much anticipation that I sought out the venue, The Zed Music Cafe, which turned out to be an intimate venue with a neat but small stage, especially for a five-piece band, and polite rows of chairs lined up in front of the stage. The venue will sadly be closing at the end of this month and having seen the enthusiasm there, it’s a real shame. Live music is at the core of what we love and it is so important to support it.
This was going to be a different proposition for a band that had smashed BOTF with their fervent approach to music. How would the collective forces of Jasper In The Company Of Others adapt? The answer was with style, charm and sound quality of the highest order. They ran through tracks from their album, ‘Dens & Diaries’, and their recent EP, ‘Kind Regards’, and quickly won over a completely different kind of crowd. A couple of new songs were excellent and filled me with excitement for new recordings. By the end of the gig there were cheers and whistles and a demand for an encore that was met with a haunting cover of MGMT’s, ‘Kids’ , which added an unknown depth to a dance song released nearly ten years previously. The four songs from their recent EP, ‘Passive Smoke’, ‘Something In The Water’, ‘Between the Lines’, and ‘Something For The Weekend’, highlight the progression of this band and the live delivery of them really has to be seen. It is nothing short of life affirming and makes it impossible not to move.
The band come from Derbyshire and Worcestershire and have supported the likes of Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard. The Jasper in question is Jasper Malone playing acoustic guitar and singing lead vocals. The Others are Jak Hayward, who makes a ukulele cooler than a Les Paul, Adam Ingram on fiddle, Will Hughes on bass guitar and Chris Yeomans on drums. All of the Others share backing vocals and it is no surprise that their live performances have been consistently considered as being some of the best around. If you don’t believe me, check them out on YouTube; their sessions at Sofar London will make my point completely.
So it would appear that whether JITCOO are playing at full volume in a hayloft to hordes of jumping festival goers or to an intimate venue the size of a front room they are quite simply one of the best live acts around at the moment. Catch them as soon as you can, they will be playing to sold out arenas one day !