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'London, Somerset House, 15th July 2004'   

-  Genre: 'Dance'

Our Rating:
Lemon Jelly bring their paint by numbers technicolour sounds and graphics to the open-air stage courtyard of Somerset House, but first up is the unlikely sight of support comedian Phill Jupitus, (with darth maul overseeing,) braving the jeers from the crowd.

Phill's task is to present the Jelly's own version of "Play your cards right" having to pick randomly from the crowd (after a lotto draw failed to find a winner). Not too surprisingly, a pretty German student appears, she has the pleasure of playing for a kid's scooter, but not only that, she's playing for the whole crowd to win a limited LJ CD! The crowd wisely gets behind the game, help her choose the 2 of Hearts and we are all winners, probably the only wobbly moment of the evening. Er, hurrah!!

Its not long before the LEMON JELLY duo Fred Deakin and Nick Franglen appear onstage, ushering in ambient pulsings and colourful projection to get the set started. But this no ordinary chill out lesson tonight, the first two tunes send us into darker jelly world. Even "In The Bath" gets a sinister 2004 intro make over before falling lazily back to the perfect sound of the original.

"Do you like death jelly, it's are new direction!" says Nick jokingly, before breaking into "space walk." The energetic performance from the duo gets the jelly-heads (jelly-heads - a trendy thirty something crowd who all seem to be wearing previous tour t-shirts. some even wearing disco balls, patagonian hats and carrying ducks on sticks) into the groove. It's drug assisted dancing maybe, but with "It's Beautiful" everyone seems to be having fun, bobbing up and down. Both the crowd and the band are spurring themselves on, it seems.

New songs seem to take a agreeable small club vibe, mixing slow underwater sounds and high tempo dance beats, but it's never long before they burst into older and more instant sugar rushes with the hits like the opener to "Lost Horizons," the ever reliable "Elements". "Nice Weather for Ducks" samples couldn't have a more BBC politically correct voice over, but then with this duo's music, wry nostalgic Englishness is never far away.

The backdrop visuals flows from retro spirograph to very slick, bright animation of the group's album artwork which gets a 3D life of its own.Nick and Fred play a host of instruments: guitar, keyboards, bongos and turntables but always with a wide grin on their faces and a relaxed coolness to their playing.

The set is well-paced, consisting of a winning mixture of old and new, and they promise us the new album will be chockablock full of samples: some famous and some not. Watch this space.

On one of the newer songs they bring out Teri Walker, her vocal performance shaking things up, as she sings "wanna stay with you for the rest of your life", and the easy sing-along is an instant crowd-pleaser. On another song both boys strap on guitars for fun and play out to a wall of sound blast to puzzled looks in the audience. Oh well, that's Lemon Jelly for you.

Clutching aloft the last record, ("I stole this off my dad"says Nick) which contains the final sample of the evening, we are of course left with the ever vibrant crowd favourite "The Stanton Lick" (basic Plucking for the guitar), played with such wide-eyed excitement it feels as fresh as ever.

As the clouds gather overhead and the final track draws to a close, you realise it's time to leave the world according to Lemon Jelly and head home, feeling just that crucial bit better.   

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LEMON JELLY - London, Somerset House, 15th July 2004
LEMON JELLY - London, Somerset House, 15th July 2004
LEMON JELLY - London, Somerset House, 15th July 2004