Jorge’s Hot Club are a raucous rabble who plunder pop culture while sticking to an ardent Gypsy Swing ethos
Gypsy Swing is on the rise. Throughout the country you can now easily find pubs and gig venues putting on nights dedicated to the music of Fapy Lafertin, the Moreno Trio, Rodolphe Raffalli and of course the master Django Reinhardt. These nights are full of music that is ridiculously complex, but never excludes the audience, as they are full of a bounce and joy for life that immediately makes a first timer get up and dance, or at least tap their foot.
London has Swingatto, who generally stick to the classics and play them as honestly as the original records. Their musicianship is second to none and when you talk to them after, you realise the enthusiasm they have for music, they also have for life. They’ll happily talk to you in detail about Gypsy Swing as well as current musical genres and trends. In Brighton however things are slightly different. Maybe it’s the costal air, something to do with how the area reimagines music for its own purposes, or perhaps a level of not caring what other people think as long as you have a good time, but things are slightly less formal and a bit more ad hoc.
Jorge’s Hot Club are the premier Gypsy Swing band in town. Their live sets are a raucous rumbustifications where traditional numbers are intermixed with pop songs and number from children’s films. This heady mix is as intoxicating as the viscous liquor the venues they play in sell. In total Jorge’s Hot Club consists of nine members, but they have performed as a quartet in the past. As well as having Gypsy Swing influences, due to the instruments they play, they have the ability to draw from Klezmer and Latin influences to give their performances a depth of variety their peers don’t have. This range and their collective ability, and sense of humour, gives them the power to reduce even the most ardent and stoic fan into a jibbering wreck, dancing until the last note fades out is testament to their power as a live unit.
As far as Gypsy Swing goes, Jorge’s Hot Club are about as far from traditional as you can get, but who wants traditional? Why not have something that is different and slightly better? It’s the element of surprise that makes their live sets such a delightful experience. Where else can you hear Crazy Swing lodged between Everybody Wants to be a Cat and the Cantina Theme #1 and in five songs time hear I Wanna Be Like You? If you know of somewhere please send a stamped addressed email to the usual address.