Review: Flap! at Marlborough Jazz Festival

Written by Peter Davison.

Eamon McNelisEamon McNelisYou get the feeling that Aussies abroad Flap! are not taking this whole music career thing seriously.

Their gypsy-folk-jazz-ska-disco repertoire includes jaunty versions of songs by Brit miserablists The Specials and The Jam, and they've even covered the 8-bit bleepy tune that accompanies the 1989 Nintendo game Tetris... and added lyrics.

Oh, and they do a uplifting number called The Apocalypse.

Behind the cheerful Aussie demeanour, though, there's some serious musical talent. Trumpeter and vocalist Eamon McNelis won the 2012 National Jazz Award, while Shannon Barnett (trombone) was named Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year in 2007. And in Jess Guille, the band have a beguiling vocalist, ukulele player and spokeswoman.

They certainly had toes tapping – and eventually people on their feet dancing – at packed Brewin Dolphin Bandstand, where they played a mid-afternoon slot at Saturday's Marlborough Jazz Festival.

They're a long way from home, but if they do come back to Marlborough in the future, I reckon they'll command a bigger stage.  

Flap!Flap!Shannon BarnettShannon BarnettMark EltonMark EltonJess GuilleJess Guille