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They Be Jammin: Parisian Trio Jamaica Kick Out the Sub-Zero Jams at the Treasure Island Music Festival!!

Parisian Trio Jamaica play island by Robert Celli
When one hears the word Jamaica it is easy to imagine being transported to an island paradise.    A place where tin-roofed shantytowns keep a quarantined watch on the pampered tourists below enclosed in their Club Med encampments.  One thinks of Bob Marley, bobsledding, Red Stripe, ganja, and escargot?  You may have to readjust your definition of Jamaica to include a trio of Parisians.  Jamaica, the band, made their San Francisco debut this past Saturday at the Treasure Island Music Festival.  Hailing from Paris, France, with a debut record No Problem due out sometime in the near future stateside, the three-piece tore through a tight forty-five minute set.  Their music has hints of fellow countrymen Phoenix in it's pop-meets-dance sensibility, but owes as much to the French electronic music duo Justice in its hard-hitting bite.  In fact Justice's Xavier de Rosnay helped co-produce their album.  Jamaica's songs are at once nervy and polished, with plenty of muscle delivered by the syncopated playing of rhythm section Florent Lyonnet (bass) and David Aknin (drums).  The piece de resistance for me is vocalist/guitarist Antoine Hilaire.  His easy vocal delivery is contrasted perfectly with angular riffs and some downright HEAVY guitar squalls.

Live the band has an easy charm with plenty of confidence in its material.  There was a formidable French contingent in attendance and everyone, band included, dealt with the arctic conditions as the wind whipped off the Bay, by bouncing in place.  It was also the first time since a U2 video that I saw a drummer play in a parka.  I look for this trio to be popping up at festivals all over the world next year.  Jamaica are also known to do DJ gigs in addition to the more traditional RAWK set-up.  Their single "I Think I Like U 2" is a sure bet for many remixes in the coming months.  Below is some video I took with my trusty FlipCam.  I apologize for the shaky parts but shivering will do that.

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