| ‘Cruisin’ After Dark’ Tour Melkweg OZ, Amsterdam | 18-Sep-2022
Ladies & Gentlemen, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles have entered the building…
But it was Sly & The Family Stone, who exited stage-left…
Blending a mix of soul, funk, R&B and disco-grooves, from the magical 60s through to the glitterball-era of the 70s, into their contemporary songwriting, Durand Jones & The Indications, brought their funky music to the cosy setting of the Melkweg’s Oude Zaal (Old Hall), to the delight of the small 650-capacity audience, for this sold-out family-affair. And man, did we get down on it.
Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, before taking a hiatus, then reforming in 2016, this 5-piece combo have produced three albums (+ one live album) and showcased tracks from all of them, on this night of a thousand dances, as well as weaving some soul classic rhythms through-out.
Teasing with a few bars of a well-worn ballad, every now & then, serving as a vehicle to demonstrate how faithful their contemporary tracks sit well with those from a bygone era, these snippets of genre-defining musicality raised a cheer every time recognition swept over the auditorium.
In the middle of the set, the band even broke into David Bowie’s ‘Young Americans’, which kinda jolted me out of the love-train I was happily riding, and as it turned-out, was a cover-version they released in 2020. The Thin White Duke meets The Godfathers of Soul?
Whilst leading-man Durand shimmied and swayed across the podium, occasionally dropping to a kneeling position, to lend an emotive delivery to the lyrics (and once even sitting on the dock of the stage, keeping it real with the acolytes), the rest of the band kept it instrumentally tight, with drummer Aaron Frazer sometimes taking over as lead-vocalist on a few tracks.At one point, even swapping his drum-sticks with guitarist Blake Rhein taking over pounding on the calf-skins, to occupy centre-stage, accommodating a final costume-change from The Boss.
With fan-favourite track ‘Witchoo’ all but rounding-out the setlist, and with an audience age-ranging from those who might actually have been ‘there’, to those only now discovering just how good the music of that era actually was/ is, this gig was sweet soul music. And I’m pretty sure my fellow revellers would second that emotion.
In a 2021 interview the band gave to Thomas Smith for the NME, Durand is quoted, “Soul music is less about the sound, but more the conviction, mining deep inside for raw, uncut emotions. If you want to front a band, you’ve got to let it all hang out like you’re naked. Be yourself and be goofy and silly, sexy and fun, as sad and happy as you want to be… do it all.”
Signed, sealed, delivered; Durand Jones & The Indicationscertainly got naked in Amsterdam. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
You can listen to Durand Jones & The Indications latest album, ‘Private Space’ (2021) here.
And catch-up with the rest of their tour-dates here.
Durand Jones & The Indications are :
• Durand Jones (Lead-Vocals)
• Aaron Frazer (Synth, Percussion, Drums, Vocals)
• Blake Rhein (Guitar, Synth, Percussion, Vocals)
• Steve Okonski (Synth, Piano, Organ, Vocals)
• Michael Isvara Montgomery (Bass, Vocals)
Follow Durand Jones & The Indications on Social-Media :
Words by Colin Bridgewater (@CJB_TheSongbird)
Photo credits – 1. Melkweg pic : From bands own website 2. Durand Jones “Private Space Artwork” : From band’s social media .3. Durand Jones band pic : From band’s own social media 4, 5,6,7 & 8 by Colin Bridgewater