Jamaica, the improvisation collective from the Gate Art Centre, surprised the audience, artists and organisers of the 12th edition of the Horse Trials festival at the Iklectic on 11th August.
The Horse Trials Festival is organised by The Horse Improvised Music Club. It was established in March 2012, when it held a series of gigs at The Horse pub in Waterloo. Since December 2014 then they have had worked in partnership with IKlectik Art lab. The Club places a strong emphasis on programming established performers alongside new musicians.
Jamaica was born two years ago at The Gate Art Centre in Shepherds Bush. The idea was to fit the ever changing people who attended the music sessions in the weekly improvisation session. Alan Courtis was the first established improviser who led a workshop at the Gate in 2017. Then there has been a couple of rare London performances at Chatts Cafe (Bermondsey) and All Hallows Church (Southwark) in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
On this occasion, Jamaica was formed by five musicians: John, guitar; Brian, keyboard; Mary, home made spring box; Jason, homemade one string fretless stick, and Simon vocals. They surprised the audience with their loose and natural well structured improvisation using everyday objects and homemade instruments. The music was a psychedelic journey guiding by the unpredictable minimalistic guitar of John and the amazing harmonies and chords added by Brian on keyboards. Along with Mary and Jason they travelled into the deepest layers of the mind presented in his unique way by Jamaica’s MC Simon.
The club is organised by Adam Bohman and Sue lynch who are musicians on the London Improvised Music Scene, both of them professed at the end of Jamaica’s performance to be very impressed by the group and they want to invite them back again next year.
These are great news for for Jamaica who are making their way to be part of the London experimental music scene in their own right.