Out of respect for the medium, I don’t often listen to a local band’s recordings before I’ve heard them live. That’s one of the beauties of this scene, after all –you can have it proud, loud, and in the flesh.
But Fly Paper Jet’s facebook flyer for this week’s gig boasts recent conquests like sell-out shows in Grahamstown. That’s quite an achievement; considering the fest’s excesses make “sold out” a rare term on the prolific fringe and centre stages and one more appropriate to highly talented musicians being thrown together randomly in a state of unnatural selection (it worked, naturally. Big up to the sponsors). In addition to this sort of claim, the name Fly Paper Jet is one we don’t hear a lot in the land of bums on the barstool. In addition, their very pretty pictures whisper integral professionalism instead of slick, pretentious marketing. Even one of the godpapa’s of the scene from Mabu Vinyl says they bring something new to the Table. So I listened to Let’s Go Back To The Carnival on CD. Jissis, it’s naas.
Compositely, it’s easy listening, easy dancing, easy everything and no, you won’t be able to make a doubly-bubbly-barrelled, mishmashed title-splicing genrelisation about them – they defy genre because they know real music is more about intuitive choices than sticking to a style. They can be described, though. Take a tingle of acoustic guitars embodied by modest electric, a smattering of spoken word against the rhythm, and add sensitive sprinkles of digital bliss. It’s all ground up by a groove underscored with lilting vocals. It has lots of space. Open expanses of it. And delicate melodies. And upbeat bass lines. And finger-tapping, foot-licking (I mean.) frequencies that’ll reorder your SAD (Seasonal affect Disorder –which is not another word for coldplay). You can tell the Jets are married to music – their phrasing is select, and they can match a mood shift with the right riffs. They don’t just visit genres for effect or borrow from them like desperately degenerate country cousins; there’s a reason they’re called Jets . They fly through funk, pop rock and country like they were brought up on it and it gave them good memories.
Were they? Well, pop down to Albert Hall Thursday night (23 Aug) at nine pm sharp and ask them. Josh and Lance will be armed with two guitars and two voices - a new take on the album tracks. Yes, 9pm - this is not another of those ‘the cooler we are, the later we play’ bands which actually means ‘the cooler we think we are, the drunker you have to be to listen to us’ - this is principled professionalism.) don’t know where it is? let the Goo show you!
I bet they listened to:
Simon and Garfunkel
(early) Crimson King
The Cat Empire
Death Cab For Cutie
(and if they didn’t, you now know that I do!)(sometimes)
one day they should listen to:
Abstract Truth (and so should you)(sometime soon) (ask Andrew)