Cesca live at Jazz Re:Freshed

Having first seen Cesca perform at Brainchild festival in 2017 – and not again since – Jazz Re:Freshed provided me with the prime opportunity to kick off my 2018 in style.

For those not familiar with Cesca, they could be described as the perfect music for those that love the intricacy of time but find the inner workings of a clock a little too straightforward. Add in the occasional angular riff and Sam Jones’ affinity for cowbell and you’re at least some of the way there.

Having practically inhaled ep2 from the group’s Bandcamp after my first encounter, I was struck by just how much some of these tracks are even mightier when unleashed live. The raw edges to the punchy riffs like the finale of Redshift show that these cunning, calculated compositions are also ready for a good scrap when it comes down to it.

Production-powerhouse Ciaran Corr gives a practically athletic performance on guitar, notably spending ample time on his knees manipulating pedals and tones to create soundscapes that had the rest of us in the room on our knees in a state of devotion.

Clearly dedicated to the craft of melody, riffs and rhythms, Cesca’s set can come seem light on solos, however when Alex Wilson does take centre stage to heat up the keys on his Rhodes 73, he takes the task utterly in his stride.

With experimental soundscapes and fan favourite ep tracks in the bag, as well as clothing strewn about the place, the trio cap their excellent form with Amersham Dance, an as yet unreleased finale that is surely a sign of things to come from Cesca in 2018.

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