Review: Jockstrap @ The Louisiana

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By Omran Al Jallaf, Third Year Politics and International Relations

At the intimate venue of The Louisiana, Jockstrap bring their cinematic and electronic set to Bristol on the last show of their UK tour.

“We’re playing our set backwards, and we’re making it more dance-y”, they announce at the start of the show; and they were right – the energy was definitely more erratic and wilder at the onset while the show started to become progressively more contained. The show began with some unfamiliar mixes of some of their songs, thus the crowd’s reactions were more spontaneous as they waited in anticipation. Georgia Ellery’s vocals, normally sung in a more hushed tone, were on display at full force, probably amplified by the size of the small room. The room became a bit more chill on ‘City Hell’ and absorbed the lush sounds of ‘Yellow in Green’, but the vibe was ever so slightly groovier as the electric ‘Hayley’ came on.

Nonetheless, Georgia Ellery and Taylor Skye’s fervour never dissipated over the course of the night, as their shadowy figures bounced around on stage against a backdrop of ultramarine and violet lights. Ellery in particular, wearing a black velvet dress over bright orange tracksuit bottoms, has a mystic way of moving on stage – her arms contorting slowly like she’s casting a spell; reaching for the ceiling as she flips her brown hair in all directions.

Jockstrap bring their cinematic show to The Louisiana / Omran Al Jallaf

It was interesting watching the crowd’s movements change in real-time to match the music – almost everybody was jumping during the headbanger ‘Robert’, but that quickly turned into slow sways on the smooth melody of ‘Acid’, one of the band’s more well-known songs.

Their music can be hard to describe at times. The film-score violin arrangements coupled with harsh, percussive electronic production can feel disjointed at first, even disorienting, but once the listener settles into the woozy acid-trip of it all, it starts to feel right and provides a genuinely unique sonic experience.

Their music also always has an element of surprise; each song shapeshifts and veers off into a completely different direction than where you originally thought it was heading. This works very well because it manages to keep the crowd hooked throughout the show, especially in an age where our attention spans have become much shorter and we’re looking for the next new thing to stimulate us. This is noticeable the most when Ellery picks up her violin and starts playing it midway through the songs – the crowd is excited and continues to hype her up.

The show ended on ‘The City’, a track that starts out quite solemn with sentimental lyrics like “I told you in the city light / And your face was warm and your eyes were bright”, but then in true Jockstrap fashion, exploded into a cacophony of vocals and buzzy, pulsating beats; not too dissimilar to the sounds of Swedish electronic duo The Knife.

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After a round of applause, the lights go up; Ellery and Skye are packing up their gear while also chatting to those who’ve come up to the front of the stage to sing their praises. With just one more final gig as a supporting act for Caroline Polacheck in London, it will be exciting to see what the future has in store for them.

Featured image: Maxwell Granger


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