NN LIVE: JACCO GARDNER – THE CASTLE, NOV 6TH

Jacco Gardner Press Shot Web

If you like Psychedelic music you’ll love Dutch multi-instrumentalist and producer Jacco Gardner. His Pink Floyd meets Tame Impala blend of colourful soundscapes and unforgettable melodies have a magical childlike wonder about them. His debut album ‘Cabinet Of Curiosities’ was released in February 2013 and gained the praise of the press from MOJO to NME, but more importantly we think you’ll believe it’s great too – a unique mixture of strings, flutes, harpsichord, and classical instruments amid a wash of Neo-Psych effects.

Jacco’s already massive in Europe and has a great UK following too, so this is a rare chance to see him with the band in The Castle’s tiny backroom. It’s going to be intimate, and incredibly special. The room’s natural acoustics couldn’t be better for a show like this. Have a watch of Jacco performing to a packed crowd in Belgium below and imagine how great it’ll be in The Castle!

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The 24-year-old maverick is something else, both light years ahead and 45 years behind his contemporaries. Syd Barrett was the initial flame that set his mind alight. In Barrett’s winsome arrangements and surreal wordplay he saw the possibilities of being able to recreate the shimmering childish delight and nightmarish fear of old ‘70s fairytale-like films like the Czechoslovakian masterpiece Valerie A Týden Divu by Jaromil Jires, the Swedish Bröderna Lejonhjärta and the sweet yet surreal patina of Studio Ghibli in music. Curt Boettcher, the similarly tortured American sunshine pop legend, is cited equally. And indeed, it is the disparate combination of the pastoral Lewis Carroll vision of London’s Middle Earth club combined with frighteningly complex Californian pocket symphonies that are signature in Gardner’s impressively detailed pieces.

‘Cabinet Of Curiosities’’ instrumental title track is certainly reminiscent of the best of Curt Boettcher’s projects like The Millennium and Sagittarius with its playful baroque arrangements whilst ‘Puppets Dangling’ has a steely retro futurism, part Broadcast, part United States Of America, but with a far more delicate approach that recalls Nirvana or teenage Immediate signing Billy Nicholls. A toytown popsike feel is present in ‘The Ballad Of Little Of Jane’. which has been rarely heard since Mark Wirtz did his thing at Abbey Road, Jeff Lynne was learning his craft with The Idle Race and Klaatu were being mistaken for The Beatles.

Recorded and engineered at his ‘Shadow Shoppe’ Studio in Zwaag, The Netherlands, Cabinet Of Curiosities features Jacco playing every instrument (save the drums, deftly played by Jos van Tol) and was pre-mastered by Jan Audier – famed engineer of Dutch garage/psych heavies Q65, The Golden Earrings and The Motions on his vast array of authentic ’60s analogue gear.

Words: Simon Butcher (@sbutcher1)

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