Live performance is Jigzag’s lifeblood so it’s nigh
tantamount to stating the bleeding obvious to say that
the new album shows off their best qualities. Recorded
before a studio audience in Melbourne and at festivals
in Victoria and Queensland, Live! stands as eloquent
testimony to the Sydney trio’s stage artistry. Having
had the onerous task of following them at a festival
in Denmark last year, this reviewer/muso can speak
first-hand of their ability to entertain!
As a unit Jigzag are as tight as a jigsaw, though
there’s always space for spontaneity. It's a perfect
blend of instrumental skills and voices. Greg Bryce
(guitar), Elisabeth Frencham (upright bass) and
Caroline Trengove (violin/viola) fit together like
interlocking pieces. They read each other’s moves like
reef fish. All innovative players and singers, lead
and harmony, they also have a flair for writing catchy
yet thought-provoking songs. Their folky pop contains
bright splashes of jazz, blues, classical and Celtic.
At the core of Live! is Bryce’s anthemic ‘30 Seconds
of Happiness’, with a veritable busker’s songbook as
the meat in the sandwich (there’s quotes from just
about everything, from ‘My Sharona’ to ‘Smoke on the
Water’). The spectacular gypsy romp ‘Misirlou’,
featuring Trengove’s soaring violin, is another proven
show-stopper. Frencham shines on ‘Man of Wood’, her
love song to ‘Sebastian’ (her upright bass).
Jigzag change rhythms and feels with an ease that is
the hallmark of top flight musicianship. Deft use of
dynamics and spine-tingling harmony is the icing on
this particularly tasty cake.
Tony Hillier Rhythms Magazine 2005