It's hard to pin down exactly what goes on with The Irrepressibles. They are classical, yet wholly avant-garde; they are magical, but based on the truths of harsh reality; they are unfathomable, even if they are performing right in front of your face.
The Irrepressibles are a 10-piece performance orchestra led by artist and composer Jamie McDermott. Their music meshes intricately woven polyphonic arrangements with McDermott's ethereal and androgynous voice, effectively transporting the listener to a magical world of enchantment and wonder. And that's just from listening. Watching them is an entirely different level of intensity.
Their extravagant performances have been described as a world of glamour where Exotica meets Baroque meets Scott Walker and each move is decided down to the smallest detail - McDermott has studied avant-garde dance and employs only the strictest of choreography. Mirror Mirror, their debut album, was accompanied by what McDermott called the Mirror Mirror Spectacle - live shows where the performers dressed as spritely nymphs and played within life size jewelry boxes. The hair, the costumes, the intricacy of performance - The Irrepressibles are something so fantastical and wonderfully NEW.
Below you'll find an avant-garde piece of film directed by Roy Raz entitled The Lady is Dead. It features In His Shirt by The Irrepressibles and is nothing if not a piece of high art. This goes to show how the troupe cannot help but to dabble all throughout the creative industry; art, music, film, fashion. They bring their bit of magic to everything they touch.
Early David Bowie, Kate Bush, Queen and Anthony & The Johnsons have all been cited as comparable to The Irrepressibles; McDermott states in an interview with The Guardian
, "A lot of things have been stolen from music" - the art of performance, the energy and showmanship of glam rock - and he is determined to bring these things back. Britain is known for its legions of cookie-cutter indie pop bands and it is just beyond exciting when something so irreverently off the wall comes to light in the music scene.
The Irrepressibles bring the joy back to live performance - they make going to a concert an EVENT, not just another Saturday night. On top of all of these theatrical qualities that make them entertaining, there is also a depth and sincerity to the music that is refreshing. McDermott shares his life with the audience by singing a veritable confessional of his journey through love, lust, anger and loss.
To experience The Irrepressibles is to experience Disney World as a child: each moment reveals something enchanting and new, and even though your older brother told you it's all fake, you can't help but believe in the magic.