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Mark in The Jigantics

"A fabulous fusion of blues, rock, folk and Americana that blew the socks off our audience. Absolute class."
Steve Sheldon www.folkicons.co.uk

"Fantastic music... The Jigantics were a highlight act"
The Daily Telegraph

"played a remarkable set... a touch of class"
Richard Howarth, Stratford Herald

"This is a very, very fine debut. Highly recommended!"
Blues Matters! magazine April 2014

"an album with a bunch of highlights and no failures."
Flyingshoes Review 10 February 2014

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"Supergroup turn on the styles at Stratford Folk Club, No.1 Shakespeare Street. HISTORY is littered with supergroup failures - attempts at putting together a bunch of talented musicians which don't produce the wonderful outcome you'd expect but when it does work, something spellbinding can happen and we got our own taste of that at Stratford Folk Club's latest concert night when The Jigantics topped the bill and played a remarkable set.

With a line-up which can generate the kind of rock family tree that used to be turned into a tv show, The Jigantics have fused the disparate talents of its members to hop between styles almost at will - but always with a touch of class. And just as they varied the styles, so they switched between instruments and vocals with no let-up in the impact.

A large part of the set was taken up by tracks from their debut album Daisy Roots, which is a fine statement of their genre-hopping approach. There's foot-tapping feelgood, then totally convincing tearjerkers, both on record and played live. So there's the infectiously upbeat Bad Liver and a Broken Heart, which sounds like Shania Twain and a bunch of line dancers gone bad, the very different but equally catchy Swimming Song and the quite hypnotic non-album Curve of My Back, telling the story of a mandolin and surely a 'shoe-in' for the next album. The musicianship was as good as you'd expect and the vocals consistently excellent, none more so than Mark Coles lead on The Save and the standout moment of the show, our very own Marion Fleetwood's take on The Valley.

A big shout too for support hand We Died at Sea, from Leeds but with a couple of ex-Stratford College students in their ranks. A delightfully retro 1920s and 1930s set mixing up jazz, ragtime and more."
Richard Howarth, Stratford Herald

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"Big on quality and entertainment levels, five-piece band The Jigantics run music’s Americana gamut. Their focus is pretty simple; to either write material of quality or go find it, whether by established artists or those of a lesser know origin. On having this mindset and not focus solely on self-penned material it encourages both a wider range of material and stronger one is accessed.

Comprising of Rick Edwards, Mark Cole, Marion Fleetwood, Lyndon Webb and Martin Fitzgibbon (between them they play a wealth of instruments; slide, acoustic, electric guitar, banjo, harmonica, accordion, mandola, drums, percussion) the band drink in country, folk, Cajun and blues flavours on this their debut album. Cole handles the majority of lead vocals; Fleetwood may only have sole lead role on three cuts. The Valley (written by Canadian singer-songwriter Jane Siberry is a stunning piece, so beautifully sung I dare anyone to try and match her stellar performance. Once she got going I began comparing her favourably to Co Clare, now Nashville resident songbird Maura O’Connell. She also supplies the string arrangement on the track. As is the case on another remarkable performance; this time is in way of “Black Mountain Valley”. Taken from a true and tragic story of how a half-ton boulder crashed through the wall of the trailer where three year-old Jeremy Davidson slept in his Appalachia bed. While with a foot-tapping rhythm Fleetwood also leads the boys (who play some beautiful stuff) through a cajun dashed country take of Hayes Carll’s “Bad Liver And A Broken Heart”; on slowing it some before the song flows like a southern seas sailing boat. As for Cole he nails Tom Waits’ “Hold On” perfectly.

It doesn’t stop there either when it comes to outstanding songs. For there is a folksy version of traditional ballad “Lakes Of Ponchartrain”, a couple of songs from Buddy Miller, which include a fine version of Miller’s co-write with Jim Lauderdale (“Hole In My Head”). A wonderful, punchy number it rates as one of the best he’s done. Fitzgibbon’s “George Foreman Grill” with its swampy blues intro likewise wins credit, as does a beautiful version of Loudon Wainwright 111’s “Swimming Song”. It’s happy, sing-a-long chorus aided by ace accordion, percussion and vocals start off an album with a bunch of highlights and no failures."
Flyingshoes Review 10 February 2014

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"The Jigantics brand of Cajun-kissed folk rockery turned out to be the perfect complement (!!), easing us into a high quality selection of songs ranging from the not-a-dry-eye-in-the-house tear jerker, to the Doc-Martins-to-the-floor outlaw country floor shaker.

To be honest, with musicians of this pedigree (Martin Fitzgibbon and Marion Fleetwood of ColvinQuarmby, and Mark Cole, Rick Edwards and Ade Deane of Sons Of The Delta) it shouldn’t really be surprising. These are all seasoned and talented performers, as the stage rammed full of varying types of musical instruments and the sharing of lead vocal duties all round, testifies.

These guys (and gal) can really rock up a storm, especially on the Cole-led Earle-fest “I Ain’t Ever Satisfied”, and blues-driven “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart”. The sound is crisp, with the Fitzgibbon / Deane rhythm axis providing the solid base for the sublime fluidity of Rick Edwards’ guitar lines, and Mark Cole’s exuberant squeezebox meanderings.

Proving the old adage that “it’s always the drummers that have the best voices”, Martin Fitzgibbon takes to the front of the stage and handles the lead vocal on “Lakes Of The Pontchartrain”. His signature velvet tones to the fore (and all the better for it!), enveloping the audience with its mellifluous warmth and insistent vitality.

And as if that’s not enough, we were treated to Marion Fleetwood’s stunning version of Jane Siberry’s “The Valley”. Now I’m a big fan of top quality female vocalists such as Chris While (and indeed KD Lang), and I have to say that Marion Fleetwood is assuredly in that class. The voice is enough. Ethereal, emotive, passionate and at times siren-esque. The closing note of the song is greeted with genuinely affectionate applause, and a number of people standing up to show their appreciation – yes it was one of THOSE moments!

The Jigantics seem to have that innate ability to engender a ‘feel-good factor’. Disarming reticence. Getting peoples feet moving. Mark Cole’s naturally languid stage presence is a key feature as he extols the audience to “Hold On” before we’re assuaged effortlessly into the skanking country groove of “Johnny Too Bad”.

And then all too soon it’s final song time, as once again Marion Fleetwood enshrouds us with her seraphic cadences to the tune of “Black Mountain Lullaby”, a song made all the more striking by the sheer simplistic beauty of the melody contrasting intriguingly with the sorrowful subject matter of the lyric.

Really looking forward to this bands debut CD release, and hopefully we can tempt them back again next year….."
Ken Brown - Square Roots Promotions

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"The Jigantics are the combination of Marion Fleetwood and Martin Fitzgibbon from Colvin Quarmby and Rick Edwards, Mark Cole and Lynton Webb from the Sons of The Delta; together they create a warm and very inviting atmosphere, blending the natural elements of Blues, Folk, Roots and Hill Country music. Between them they produce stunningly evocative and emotive music that melds with rapturously captivating and stirring harmonies from a plethora of instruments such as; slide, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin mandola, banjo, harmonica, violin, viola, fiddle, cello, drums and percussion. The eleven numbers found here on this debut album are a mixture of covers and originals, starting with the sweetly stirring Cajun influenced Loudon Wainwright III’s Swimming, a gentle accordion swings in a duet with violins and banjo underneath joyous urging vocals. The stark, bare and almost plaintive soaring cello and acoustic guitar backed vocals of Marion on Jane Siberry’s The Valley, is eloquently arresting, emotionally gripping and most definitely captivating. Tom Waits blue collar coffee shop working mans’ love story Hold On, is wonderfully bleak but yet, inspiring; the sorrowful slide and sensitively compelling percussion underpins an ever hopeful vocal that pleads for a love to be saved. Buddy Miller’s ‘Hole In My Head’, lightens the mood with a splendid swinging violin that leads rocking guitar and pounding drums interspersed with a toe-tappin’ harmonica break. The album finishes with Caroline Herring’s Black Mountain Lullaby, a sombre and haunting tale relating to a mother and child tragedy that took place outside Appalachia, Virginia; Marion’s vocals richly emote the inner sadness, melancholy and despair of such a loss; the sensitive and fragile phrasing is met with equal tenderness form the acoustic guitar and deeply moving violin and cello. This is a very, very fine debut. Highly recommended!"
Blues Matters! magazine April 2014

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"With Daisy Roots they have succeeded with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. The five members of the band have not only recorded something very special but they have done it with style and grace as well, a rare talent. Tracks such as The Valley, the traditional Lakes of Pontchartrain, the fantastic Bad Liver And A Broken Heart, Hold On and the magnificent composition by Martin Fitzgibbon, the quirky but immensely enjoyable George Foreman Grill make Daisy Roots an album to get lost in, to while away the hours without even realising it"
Liverpool Sound and Vision

 

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