A year or so ago, I was looking on YouTube for the DuckTales theme tune because reasons. As well as the original, I also happened across a slow jam version that hooked me immediately. This was my first experience of Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox.
My musical tastes have never been truly defined – if I find something catchy, I’m into it, regardless of genre. I wouldn’t necessarily seek out jazz/blues/swing/soul songs, but if I hear one that’s an earworm, I’m all over that bad boy.
And that’s what you get with the Postmodern Jukebox – contemporary songs rearranged so that they can be played across piano, bass, drums and horns. I felt I should address the brilliant instrumentation first before I got to the vocals, because when you bring those into the equation… oh my.
That was particularly evident when I saw PMJ at Shepherd’s Bush Empire during the week – the vocalists were absolutely mindblowing. They would consistently get mid-song applause for a long, long held note or a perfectly pitched run because the crowd were just stunned by their ability.
Many of the vocal performers have their own projects – and why wouldn’t they with voices like that? – but one of the most pleasing aspects of the concert was the camaraderie between the ensemble: the lead vocalist from one song would just switch to backing vocals for the next performer and vice versa – no egos, just everyone doing their bit.
The trouble with having so many guest vocalists is when you go on a tour, you can’t take them all with you, so if you were wanting to hear the Yiddish version of Talk Dirty or experience a seven-foot clown singing Royals, you’ll have to stick to YouTube.
That said, there’s so much music, fun and honest-to-goodness entertainment on that stage – including a manic tambourinist and a mesmeric tap dancer – you definitely won’t be left wanting. Alas, their only remaining UK date is on 22nd March at Indigo2 in London, but if you can get there, you really, really should. Failing that, there’s always YouTube – you might want to start with DuckTales.