The Electric Swing Circus bring a solid bit of light musical relief to a festival otherwise lacking in funk.
The night began with a good half an hours delay, mildly irritating but understandable in light of the extensive selection of instruments waiting on the stage. With the relatively dense crowd filtered into the room, the band, clad in a suitable array of hats and pin-striped trousers, jump from the wings and throw themselves into their first song. In characteristic electro-swing form, it is an upbeat number that merges a rolling, double bass line with gypsy guitar, wavering synth and a pounding beat.
The crowd soon come to life as the spacious dance floor folds into a suitable throng of girls dressed in vintage looking things and men with facial hair. The evening gets brought up a notch as the well vocal-chorded Bridget Walsh belts out the opening lines to The Aristocat’s Ev’rybody Wants to be a Cat. Her counterpart Laura Louise echoes back the refrain before the boys drop the whole thing into a smoke and laser complemented, dubby affair.
The appeal of the night is the well-rehearsed and evidently talented Electric Swing Circus. Each member is not only fully capable of holding down the technical, high octane songs, but brings a live, slightly ramshackle energy to a genre of music more often squeezed into DJ sets. The downside of the night, (and the audience’s elated reaction suggests there was only one), was the somewhat over-stylised, almost cabaret-esque performance. At times the vocalists were more circus ringmaster than frontwomen, tempting the audience with seemingly pre-prepared lines. The guitarist’s knees-up dancing, as impressively high as they were, came across a little disingenuous. If knees can be disingenuous. Such scruples aside, The Electric Swing Circus bring a solid bit of light musical relief to a festival otherwise lacking in funk.