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Published on May 21st, 2013 | by Peter


Saint John The Gambler – Five Miles to Vaudeville

st john the gambler

I first heard of St John The Gambler around 2 years odd years ago now at year 1 of The Spirit of Folk festival. Before I go any further, it is at this point that I may now add their name to a small list that also contains The Pixies, The White Stripes and Nirvana. Bands I could have gone to see, had tickets to or was there [in SJTG’s case] and never made it to the gig. Further, they are gigs I missed and now deserve a good flogging for, in the village sqaure of some random hypothetical french 17th century town whilst the locals lash rotten fruit at me and call for my head. Hindsight, you bastard.

Saint John the Gambler is an exciting original Gypsy-Swing band with a dance-inducing spirit. This Dublin-based band have melded sounds from by-gone eras and distant lands with modern songwriting taking in influences from Old-Time Jazz, Klezmer, Latin and Vaudeville to create a bluesy gypsy piracy. With high energy live shows SJG have gained a reputation for being one of the most exciting and unique bands in Ireland.

Q two years on and I’m chatting with Séan about someone he knows someone in Dublin City Fm and up pops St John The Gambler and have you heard their new album and it ends up in my inbox….. and then hindsight sneaks up right behind me and clobbers me across the back of my ear drums and, without saying anything lets me sit there like some numpty. In my defence, I do have a rock solid defence… but, it’s more the fact that I was reminded what I had missed. Another of the greats, live. And, you had to be there. I wasn’t.

To the legends that are, St John the Gambler, their new album Five Miles to Vaudeville is a legendary piece of the most beautiful refreshment, like lemonade sold for 3 cents a cup, in the front garden of some American film where it is just so damn hot and there’s a man with spats on, sitting a rocking chair in the shade playing track no. 4 over the wireless and it is so f*@king beautiful it’s not even out of sync with how slowed down life within that movie scene is.

It’s hard to describe St John the Gamblers sound, you might gather. To bottle it so to speak. Even the bio on their website is more than one line long. But then how did you first try and describe Hotel Yorba, Nevermind or Doolittle ? You don’t. Or at least I couldn’t. You simply compare other acts to them.

Their new album Five Miles to Vaudeville was released May 17th and is available in all good record stores and in iTunes. I very higher that highly recommend it. More than that, I hope they read this. And for our past and my missing of our first date I am so very sorry. It’s one in a million. It’s one in a million chance. Of note, Tower Records this Saturday. They, are playing. Love and Liberty. Roll on.

Further info:

Five Miles to Vaudeville

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About the Author

Horticulturist. Yapper. Gardener. Human. Landscaper. Loves coffee. Dublin. Makes gardens. Radio Podcasts The @Sodshow. Lives in a tree in Dublin @DoneganGardens or www.doneganlandscaping.com

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