“The World’s Finest Purveyors of Circus Swing”. were playing at Kunst!Garten on Sunday. 3Songs had to check it out, not least to find out what ‘Circus Swing’ was.
As it should always be, the sun was out to greet the ‘Circus’. All seats at Kunst!garten were long taken and even the floor in front of the stage was filled with summer blankets and playing children. A colorful assembly of Summer outfits in front of the stage, but Gabby Young & Other Animals still manages to appear more sturated than anyone else present. With flowers in her bright red hair that’s cut with a retro look that reminds me (yes I’m that old!) of Cilla Black at her peak, Gabby Young is not to be overlooked.
The hair and friendly enthusiasm are where all similarites with ‘our Cilla’ end though. Gabby was the youngest ever member of the National Youth Choir and odds on to become a successful opera singer. Instead she joined the circus. The circus was actually a base for her music in that she financed her CD by various offers to fans who became ‘animals’ according to their pledges on her “Become An Animal” webpage – which offered fans the chance to ‘invest’ in their favorite new band. For £12.50 you could become a ‘mole’ (T-shirt, gig ticket & album) , £25 a ‘bear’ (same + signed album, photos), £65 a tiger (all of above + meeting the band, personal video message, VIP tickets). In fact Gabby is in the middle of recording her latest disc with similar sponsorship. More than GBP 8000.00 has been raised.
It’s a fun sound, this ‘Circus Swing’ and the band are all not just excellent musicians but also entertainers. Violin, accordian, trumpet, trombone… it’s fun seeing them get everything back in the van after the show. They know how to entertain though and are perfect lightweight entertainment for a sunny Sunday afternoon by the lake.
I remember similar fundraising manouvers by Kyla Grange., and if there’s substance behind the music then I have no qualms about this modern form of recording. In the case of Gabby Young and the Animals there is certainly a unique talent behind the campaigns. Somewhere between Caro Emerald and Tori Amos. The DVD to ‘We’re all in this together’ is as unique as the cardboard puzzle that encloses the last CD. If inventiveness and a great voice were all that a singer needed to succeed than Gabby Young and other Animals would be stars already. Maybe they are – in which case the big stage just around the corner beckons brightly.