Jamnesty, presented by Amnesty International, delivered a relaxed and enjoyable evening of live music last Saturday night as one of the first events on the On The Rocks line-up.

Last year’s hit premiere of Jamnesty was held in the ‘Building Site Bar’ and was a genuinely great live music event that matched the lively and cluttered state that the building site Union was in at the time. Matching last years success, the organisers and various performers showed a level of awareness apt for the event; both venue, and crowd.

The event held in newly opened Sandy’s Bar set an intimate and warm atmosphere that offered up equally warm smiles from those in attendance. It is widely known that Saturday nights are customarily quiet in St Andrews, and this was the perfect environment for the event to be set in as the pleasant experience of Jamnesty would have been lost in a crowded bar.

We were greeted by acoustic duo Gabi and Chris as the first act of the event. The pair established the calmness of the evening with earnest covers that they conveyed easily  with impressive informality.

The next act of the evening, Ukelear Fusion, had a somewhat awkward performance due to technical difficulties with microphones and stage setup. Nonetheless, their self-awareness was humbling, as they refused to fall in to the trap of taking themselves too seriously when they laughed: “You know when that guy turns up with a guitar at a party and plays Wonderwall? Well we’re just one step below that,” before playing Don’t Look Back in Anger.

The highlight of the evening was undoubtably The Hummingbirds who epitomised St Andrews culture with an extremely enjoyable a cappella performance. The only disappointment of the evening was that their set was so short lived. If you haven’t already seen the group perform I highly recommend that you check them out as despite not having the same hype as some of the bigger groups – they certainly rival them in talent.

However, blues singer Katie Hurst somewhat eased the aching pain that I felt at the end of The Hummingbirds set. She had a friendly and relaxed stage presence with a memorable rendition of Nina Simon’s Feeling Good.

The evening was then finally relaxed in to a close by George Kakas, who exhibited excellent guitar work across the covers that he performed.

Throughout the night Amnesty International literature could be found laid out on the table and posters set on the walls. The organisers did not force the attention of the evening on to their work. Instead, the setup encouraged personal browsing over various handbooks. This allowed the crowd to comfortably engage with it as they pleased, which seemed fitting in context.

On The Rocks hosted five separate events across town on Saturday night, and Jamnesty was the perfect pallet cleanser to prepare for what the festival has lined up for the coming week.

Words: Hugh Casey