Jam Tarts Choir

A mass of pink and red strode onto the stage. Perhaps the Jam Tarts were dressed to match the conductor’s impressive pink meringue dress, which swirled and puffed about, keeping time for the choir. It was a sight to behold; fifty or so performers in tiers, exposing the maximum amount of pink and red dressed in showbiz smiles.

It was hard to resist swaying along with the jammy jivers on stage.

It was hard to resist swaying along with the jammy jivers on stage. The Brighton based indie pop and rock choir sung passionately. There were a lot of ballady numbers, Beyonce’s Crazy somehow becoming one. The songs ranged from Iggy Pop to The Buzzcocks, with generous lashings of Nick Cave in between. There were three Nick Cave numbers in total, for those of you either seeking or avoiding the Jammy Cave.

The relaxed choreography allowed any divas to swing and sway uninhibited. I spotted two or three sassy front row singers, one of whom took a tumble towards the end. Spirits were high. Most of the songs were accompanied by electric keyboard, a trumpet, flugelhorn and cello appearing later; these instrumentalists really brought out the Jam Tarts’ flavour. Clapping hands, clicking and beat-boxing and waving burst from the choir at appropriate moments, and the choir looked relaxed and groovy. The mass movement on stage was impressive, as were the rich jammy harmonies which cascaded over the audience.

A seat in a theatre is not always the easiest place to dance, but the audience livened up in the second half. When the Jam Tarts left the stage, the audience shouted for an encore. The choir had a treat in store. We were indulged with the dramatic O Fortuna, in Latin, but with the choir displaying accompanying phonetic cards. These turned out to be the ‘misheard lyrics’ in English, including such well-known phrases as 'suck juice from moose' and statue of 'big dog with fleas', which was fantastic. The audience were in stitches and the Tarts received a standing ovation. 

Reviews by Felicity Harris

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The Blurb

Jam Tarts are a Brighton-based 55-piece choral collective who perform unique arrangements of songs by artists such as The Smiths, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Bat for Lashes, The Pogues, John Grant, Tom Waits, The Staves and The Sex Pistols. The Brighton Argus describes them as "a sonic sugar rush for those who crave mass harmonies but want them free of sickly religious sentiment or the saccharine emotions of West End stage shows."