Concert Review: Jamaican Queens, July 22, Handlebar


Even before they had started their set, Detroit’s Jamaican Queens had me on their side from the get go when the bassist and drummer started playing along with the record that was being played as they set up. Clearly, these guys were enjoying themselves and if the band is having fun, well, then it stands to reason that the audience likely will as well. And the band did put on an enjoyable set of electronic-tinged indie pop despite the fact that they had a few obstacles to overcome.

As they were setting up, I noticed singer Ryan Spencer securing his guitar strap with a bunch of masking tape. I found it a little odd, but didn’t think much of it until he mentioned that the acoustic guitar he normally uses (“We’re usually a folk band”) was no longer working and so he was using this one as a back up. He gave up on using it after a few songs and stuck to just singing and using his electronic equipment. “This is our most Pavement set ever,” he said early on in their set. On top of all this, they also had to contend with a dodgy monitor, which meant that Spencer couldn’t really hear what was going on. “How are you doing?” asked the sound guy after making some adjustments. Spencer quipped that emotionally, he was doing alright. The band took all of it in stride though and performed a set that was memorable in spite of (or perhaps because of) all of the technical issues.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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