Jaymay - The Living Room, 11/4/06

Every time I see Jaymay, it's different. She plays with a different band. She performs her songs a different way. She keeps it fresh.

The thing about her is that she's contagiously comfortable on stage. The first time I ever saw her was by accident. I was at The Living Room to see Josh Pyke perform, and she played beforehand. She was in the middle of a residency there, and I had to crane my neck to see behind the crowd that had packed in. That was the night she recorded the version of "You Are The Only One I Love" (mp3, right click to download) that's readily available on myspace. I mention it because at the end of the song she took a long sip of water from a bottle of Poland Spring as the bass and drums wound the song down, punctuated by a satisfied "ahh" that you can hear on the recording, and that you could hear even at the very back of the packed Living Room. You could have heard a pin drop. Not a tense, "now what?" silence. A comfortable, "wow" silence. Contagious comfort. She's good.

This time it wasn't a water sip. This time it was an improvised song (roughly to the tune of "Gray or Blue") calling Ferraby Lionheart*'s bass player (who was outside smoking a cigarrette) to the stage at the beginning of the set. Like she was the only one in the room. And then she played songs that I've listened to probably a hundred times and made them new. Changed some melodies, some rhythms, some instrumentations. Added some Dylan-esque talk-singing at the end of some lines (and it worked).

Honestly, I can't say this strongly enough: Jaymay is mesmerizing when she performs. And I don't know how better to describe it than by using silly anecdotes like the ones above.

A note about the photo: I'm just not cut out for concert photography. I refuse to be "that guy" taking flash photos. I considered just not using one or using a press photo of Jaymay or something. But then I used this one anyway. I like how it says "The Living Room" in it.

*Ferraby Lionheart played before Jaymay. He was good.

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