I have to admit up front that I've never heard much of Jakob before apart from the odd track on the internet, or played at friends’ houses. But I've yet to hear a bad thing from anyone who's ever seen them play and that, along with the fact that Tool chose them to open for them earlier in the year in Australia, is what got me down to the sold out San Francisco Bathhouse in Wellington last Saturday to check them out.
Due to a ticketing mixup we missed the opening acts but by all accounts Bachelor of Architecture and Sora Shima put on an outstanding show and did themselves proud. By the time we arrived Jakob were set to take the stage and the atmosphere in the packed out bar was incredible. It's amazing to be in a room full of people that excited about seeing local music, particular when the band in question is from Napier - not one of the typical music centres of the country.
At about 11pm Jakob hit the stage to a roar of excitement then for the next hour and a bit blew a very receptive audience away with a solid set of soundscape, expanding on musical ideas, taking the audience on a sonic journey with each new song. While they had three albums of songs to choose from the band were keen to try out some new material. Always a tricky call by a band, the crowd lapped it up. Part of the reason for the crowd support is the level of musicianship exhibited by this trio; it really shows why they’re getting the recognition from abroad from big names in rock.
Just after midnight Jakob finished up but weren’t let off that easy, being called back to the stage to finish with the highlight of the night, a jaw-dropping rendition of Semaphore, off their 2003 album Cale:Drew. We stumbled from the San Fran buzzing, content and determined not to miss Jakob next time they roll through town.
To listen to Jakob is to journey through the harsh, beautiful, isolated landscape of the Hawkes Bay, that is their home. Swelling but direct, beautiful and uplifting yet intense and hard, this is a band declaring victory over the forces of nature.
Jeff Boyle (guitar), Maurice Beckett (bass) and Jason Johnson (drums) got together in 1998, to realise a musical vision they all shared. The result is nothing short of a beautiful contradiction; Uplifting yet dark and intense, both sonically massive and delicately complex. Jakob defy definition and while many influences come to mind theirs is a unique sound. A sonic landscape. With two albums, 'Subsets Of Sets' and 'Cale:Drew', under their belts, Jakob continue to explore new musical horizons.
Jakob's first gig was when they opened for Salmonella Dub and Pitch Black in Napier at the local pub O’Flahertys.