Taking a look back at Jamiroquai's lengthy career, it’s kind of amazing that a band with such inoffensive music has split opinion so often. Either derided as background tunes with no substance, or loved by fans for their blue-eyed soul grooves, their rise from the acid-jazz fusion of the early 90s to become disco-throwback powerhouses has never been uneventful thanks to charismatic leader Jay Kay.
Having experienced their most prolific period around the turn of the millennium, there is finally new Jamiroquai on the way. New album 'Automaton' ends seven years of inactivity and there's even a new tour and new headgear to go with it.
Ahead of their sold out show at The Roundhouse in London on March 31, we take a look back at their most iconic moments.
1 The ‘Virtual Insanity’ music video
Easily the biggest moment in Jamiroquai’s history, it broke a couple earthy jazz-funk enthusiasts in the United States and left many living rooms overturned as people tried to recreate the physics-defying video. 20 years later, people still don’t know how the mind-blowing visuals were achieved. So much so, that director Jonathan Glazer said if he had a pound for every time he’d been asked then he’d be a millionaire (which we think he is anyway). After all, it was made at a time when computer-generated effects weren’t particularly subtle so you know it isn't faked. But thanks to Jay Kay’s twinkle-toes and some impressive behind-the-scenes work, the video came out smooth as velvet.
2 Their original line-up included a dedicated didgeridoo player
The didgeridoo doesn’t exactly scream disco inferno. It’s actually an extremely difficult instrument to play and emits a drone sound, excellent for some things but it doesn’t quite bring the funk. However, in their early fusion days, Jamiroquai said fuck it, and went all in on the 1500-year old instrument. ‘What You Gonna Learn’ to ‘Didgin Out’, the opener on 'Emergency On Planet Earth' the opener, features Wallis Buchanan’s talents and boy did he make that instrument pop on the live circuit as evidenced above.