Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something - album launch

Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something ‘Oh Really, What’s That Then?’, album launch at Set, Dalston, 3 October 2019. Available on Trapped Animal Records.

Jemma Freeman - pic Terry Tyldesley

The chosen temple for the launch of Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something’s album ‘Oh Really, What’s That Then?’ was called Set, but revealed an inner red velvet lair.

This cave of delights included Scrounge’s blast of post-punk followed by ‘Beardy Drag Barbarian’ Oedipussi Rex and a rollicking version of The Prodigy’s Firestarter with sparkling lights in all the right and wrong places, sending the crowd into a different orbit and dialling anticipation levels up to 11.

Enter JFATCS clad in red boilersuits, calling to mind Kraftwerk, but anything other than workmanlike in their approach. They exploded into double drummed fireworks led by the soaring rocket that is Jemma, and began showering the audience with the sonic glitter dust of psych, glam, pop, beautiful melodies and fierce riffs that make up the album.

From the Iggy-esque stomper Helen Is A Reptile, to the more reflective but still driving guitar-laden Hard Times, or the angular Black Rain, there were so many tunes to love.

An audacious mid audience costume change and Jemma leapt back on stage clad in feathers and PVC, rocking harder than ever in serious glam or glam serious mode.

Jemma Freeman, Maris Peterlevics - pic Terry Tyldesley

Guesting along the way were violinist Maris Peterlevics, and Scrounge’s Lucy and Luke, with Punkvert visuals spraying Jemma and the ceiling with extra cosmic-ness, alongside JFATC drummers Jason Ribeiro and Hamilton Lee.

Instead of a pedal board Jemma had a pedal acreage for their virtuoso guitar sounds, and three guitars to change between – and at one point was self-mocking in front of the crowd for playing the album in order, along with its disparate guitar tunings. Glimpses of this inner Jemma contrasted with the intense icon-in-the-making Jemma and served to make the crowd fall for them even harder. Jemma’s drawn comparisons to Bowie and you can see why.

Marc Estall, Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something - pic Terry Tyldesley

The set ended with a very physical bass and guitar duel in the middle of the audience and a strong smell of danger before the two musicians Jemma and Mark Estall - collapsed into each other on the stage.

Back for an encore, JFATCS played more ferociously than ever, with Jemma literally climbing the walls, before the night ended with a frenzied audience scramble for the set lists.

If you’re going to call yourself anything Cosmic you have to be able to deliver something pretty shiny, and JFATCS turned it up to Stellar. It was one of those shows even people who weren’t there, will claim to have been part of.

Jemma Freeman - pic Terry Tyldesley

  • The new JFATCS album ‘Oh Really, What’s That Then?’ is out on Trapped Animal Records and available on Vinyl, CD and download, from their official store, Bandcamp and other key stores