Just down from the hive of activity that is Camden Town station, Jehan Abdel-Malak’s saxophone casts a silhouette appropriately on the window and The Jazz Café rapidly fills to its capacity; it’s a sell out for Bristol sextet Yes Sir Boss.
The crowd take well to support Joe Driscoll, who reminds me of a less produced Ed Sheeran, with a wonderfully warm, raw and honest tone to his sound. Next up we have Yes Sir Boss who kick off their set with the brilliant ‘Desperation State’, taken from their debut album of the same name. Signed to Joss Stones new label – Stone’d records, they’ve been hailed as ones to watch this year and it takes no time to realise why.
From the first note they are unbelievably tight, and while they create a much feistier sound live than on their album it’s not overwhelming, instead just reinforcing the sheer strength of their songs and ability. The heavy beat and deep bass lines engross the audience and by the time we reach the end of the first song the entire Jazz Club are moving their feet. Lead singer Matthew Sellor belts out all of the tracks with passion, complimented beautifully by bassist Josh Stoppford’s softer melodic harmonies. As the set progresses it becomes apparent that most of the band are multi-talented, playing more than one instrument with ease. The horn section are flawless and bring some of the traditional into this contemporary ska explosion. Notable tracks in the set include ‘Desperation State’, ‘Na Na Ooh’, ‘Pretty things’, and ‘Not Guilty’.
Matty is as brilliantly engaging live as he is on the album, the audience were onside from the first song but by the end of the encore they’ve practically brought the house down. I leave the Jazz club with no doubt that YSB are a brilliant band, hard to define by genre, but I highly recommend you check them out live if you can, just don’t forget your dancing shoes.