Jamiroquai at The Roundhouse in London, gig review

David Taylor
Jamiroquai performs at The Roundhouse in London: Nicky Kelvin

​It’s been a long while since I’ve witnessed a reception like this.

The Roundhouse is rammed and, from the heaving happy masses on the main floor to those throwing shapes in the circle, the warmth of the crowd is infectious at this - Jamiroquai's first gig on UK soil in six years.

From the opening bars of set opener ‘Shake it On’ - off new album Automaton released the same night - it's impossible to stop smiling.

The accomplished band, clad in black, are as tight as if they’ve been on tour for the past year, not on only their second outing (they premiered the show in Paris two days earlier).

And Jay, sporting an incredible animatronic LED-lit crown (the word ‘hat’ really doesn’t do it justice) still has that unmistakable soul-laden voice, and is as light on his feet as he was a decade ago.

He may be 47 but dad dancing will clearly never be a part of his repertoire. Although Jay does let slip that the reason he’s been away for so long is that he “had two have two kids”.

It’s a clever set that weaves in the tracks from the new album with his glorious back catalogue, often without a pause, running one track into the other - classic ‘The Kids’ blends into new track ‘Dr Buzz’, ‘White Knuckle’ into a storming version of ‘Cosmic Girl’ that has us all singing along. And not in a bad Stone Roses-karaoke way.

All the while Jay struts the stage, his awesome manga-esque crown opening and closing in time to the tunes, lights pulsing away while the stage is bathed in reds and purples, and lasers flit around the roof - cramming an incredible 20 tunes into the set before filing off to the dying strains of ‘Love Foolosophy’.

For the customary encore - a brilliantly bass-heavy rendition of ‘Supersonic’ reverberates around the venue - transforming it into a heaving hands-in-the-air club and sending the crowd out on a justifiable high.

It’s great to see Jamiroquai back – a perfect, life-affirming antidote to these troubled times. Now where can I get that hat?

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