Jungle Lion – 30 April 2016, The Club House, Sheffield

You know a band is good when you go to see The Wailers (Bob Marley’s legendary backing band) at Sheffield O2 Academy in November 2015 and much prefer the support act, Sheffield’s very own king of the jungle and ska sensation Jungle Lion, which is why I was waiting with great anticipation to see them headline their own gig at the newly named The Clubhouse on London Road, Sheffield on Saturday 30 April.

Jungle Lion are a 12 piece SKA and reggae band, comprising of six horns and five vocalists, who delight audiences with a fun blend of popular classics, forgotten gems and customised obscurities performed with talent, passion and love.

During their two set gig of old, new and revisited but all brilliantly performed covers, me and my boyfriend (and I think the rest of the audience too) had big smiles on our faces throughout and even those of us who don’t usually dance couldn’t resist a bop as the energy and enthusiasm of Jungle Lion bounced off the band making even the least cheerful track of the evening “Ghost Town” sound like the peak of a party.

As someone with not a huge knowledge of Reggae and Ska I may have only recognised three quarters of the tracks but that didn’t stop me loving any of them and left me with not one favourite track but a dozen including “Is this love”, “Echo Beach”, “Too much pressure”, “Too much to young”, “Woolly bully”, “No, no, no no”, “Israelites”, “Rat Race”, “One Step Beyond”, the encore “Three little birds” and my boyfriend’s all time favourite “Monkey boy”.

It’s impossible to criticise any of Jungle Lion’s line up but I must give particularly praise to all of the very versatile and very talented vocalists including the charming lead vocalist Uken, Scott whose voice was perfect for pulling off the two tone tracks and the females of the collective Shinny and Rachel, who both have a unique fashion style and amazing voices. As someone who can’t play an instrument but if I could would choose the saxophone every time, I most also compliment the other saxophone players in addition to the girls, Gareth and Jerzy. Of course Jungle Lion would also not exist without bass guitar player and vocalist Dave (who also kindly emailed me the band’s line-up), lead guitarist Karl, drummer Sam, trumpet player Ash and the loveable Rob on Trombone.

I know I’ve already mentioned her, but I need to give Shinny an extra mention as if her enthusiasm and passion on stage could be prescribed on the NHS the world would be a far happier place. Finally I must mention sound engineer Matt who despite sound problems for the band on stage meant the band was heard perfectly at all times by the audience and thank the DJs who blasted out reggae tracks before and in between Jungle Lion’s sets. 

I would thoroughly recommend Jungle Lion to anyone who loves good music and a good night out. They gig regularly with there next show taking place this evening at Renishaw Miner’s Welfare Club with tickets a suggested donation of only £2. 

For information on their forthcoming shows visit www.junglelionska.co.uk/gigs or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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