Off the back of their invigorating - if inconsistent - recent album 'Calidonia', Chicago's JT and the Clouds have arrived at the unlikely time and place of the Half Moon in Putney early on a Sunday evening.

While they are slightly more genre-consistent in person than on their recent release they still veer from more straight up soul numbers to R'n'B influenced rock. Mr JT also proves himself an adept entertainer, regaling the crowd with banter, confirming that 'Calidonia' was “our favourite record of 2010, but we don’t listen to anyone else’s music” being a prime example.

The off the wall sentences are not confined to the between-song banter either, with lyrics expressing a desire to escape killer bee attacks and in praise of “electric sea horses”.

Despite this, live, the band have a slightly rawer edge than their recorded material would suggest. This is no bad thing and tracks like 'Funeral' from their latest album are all the better for this slightly raw take, with a stripped down sound of just guitars, drums and keyboards combined with some old fashioned R'n'B backing vocals to back up JT's throaty soul.

Despite their talents and engaging nature, JT and the Clouds seemed to struggle for momentum on this night. The problem comes more from the time and place than the band's restless refusal to stay in any particular musical groove. With an all-seated, Sunday evening audience - many of them tucking into roast dinners - no band was ever going to get this Putney venue jumping. A brief intermission half way through the set served to rob any built up head of steam.

This is genuinely a shame for this is a band that really deserve to be given scope to turn a crowd to their side and get them going. After a spirited and engaging set at the Half Moon on a dull Sunday, hopefully they can return to these shores for a late night, standing room only gig that can be called great.









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Commenting On: Half Moon, Putney, London, 30/3/2011 - JT and the Clouds








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