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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Durand Jones & the Indications evaluate – soul revivalists on the prime of their recreation | Music

Vintage-sounding soul has been having one thing of a renaissance of late, from the Chicano low-rider balladry of Thee Sacred Souls to the simmering southern protest of Curtis Harding or veteran crooner Ural Thomas’s outstanding rejuvenation. Amid such a crowded market, Bloomington, Indiana’s the Indications distinguish themselves by evoking a special epoch of soul than their contemporaries – the luxurious Philadelphia sound, the contoured ardour of Luther Vandross – and by their elegantly charismatic frontman, Durand Jones.

Whereas they’re gifted masters of their craft, and whereas drummer Aaron Frazer’s dulcet street-corner falsetto holds aloft the handful of songs he leads, the Indications properly centre their present round Jones. He rises to the event in brown leather-based boots, white denims, deckchair-striped shirt, shades and brown suede safari hat. The outfit is accessorised with a diaphanous handkerchief for mopping away sweat – though Jones’ croon comes effortlessly, like a breeze. A traditional showman, he asks if there are “any attractive individuals in the home tonight?”, drops to his knees each time the second turns into an excessive amount of to bear, and dances with unselfconscious pleasure all through. He maintains a canny stability of grit and velvet just like Marvin Gaye, his smoky voice graced with filigrees of ache and redemption.

Durand Jones and the Indications play The O2 Academy in Shepherd’s Bush.
Everlasting July … Durand Jones and the Indications play The O2 Academy in Shepherd’s Bush. {Photograph}: Alicia Canter/the Guardian

The Indications’ recreation of that plush Philly atmosphere is uncanny, however their songs are greater than mere ersatz vamps. Morningin America, with its ominous hook of “However I can’t see the daybreak”, is solemn and highly effective, whereas Glad builds marvellously to its delirious late-song key change, Jones holding the word like precise sunshine is pouring from his lungs.

A fast costume change – to black slacks, pin-striped salmon housecoat and black wide-brimmed fedora – heralds a welcome late-set shift to disco, a Moroder-esque throb underpinning the Billie Jean prowl of Witchoo. It’s a vibe that pervades via to ecstatic, nearer Sea of Love, Jones dropping in traces from By no means Too A lot and proving himself very a lot Luther’s inheritor, a vocalist of tender energy and aptitude. With their means to conjure an everlasting July afternoon in 1974, Durand Jones and the Indications are an irresistible proposition.

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