Monthly Archive: June 2011

The Jim Jones Revue + Lewis Henry Floyd @ 02 Academy2 Thursday 16th June 2011

Anther belated review to post. Undertaken for Birmingham Live! on their site with some great shots from John Bentley!

A wet and rainy evening in Birmingham, dodging the showers to get to the Academy, as it’s time to be cheered up and blast the rain away, with a bit of rowdy back-to-basics rock n roll meets punk attitude with up and coming garage bandThe Jim Jones Revue.

Jim Jones met Rupert Orton and through their love of the roots of rock and roll, got together a band of brothers and formed The Jim Jones Revue, recording their 2008 self-titled debut album in just 48 hours. In 2010 came the release of their second, ‘Burning the House Down’, and tonight they’re here to give us their brand of music in the full loud and raucous rock n roll glory that it is.

First up tonight is support Lewis Henry Floyd. An interesting one – after listening to the usual suspects – one day he brought Hendrix, and inspired by the electric guitar legend and others like Nick Drake, he put together his own, unique one man band, jamming riffs and learning his tricks through the old fashioned method of busking the streets of London.

Appearing on stage, akin with big hair, mirror shades, black shirt, pencil tie and drainpipe black trousers, he takes a seat, with electric guitar afront a custom-made mini drum kit.

Think full on blues, electric guitar, lived-in lyrics and the rampant jamming the Hendrix experience was infamous for.  And we get the tricks – one handed playing, whilst drinking a bottle of beer, playing guitar with his teeth. This one man touring band certainly packs a punch. He is indeed unique in his performance, already appearing at various festivals  – undoubtedly his talent will bring him to slots on Glastonbury stages and Jools Holland ‘Later’ performances. An album of his tracks formed whilst busking is out now: ‘One Man and his 30W Pram.’ Worth catching him, whether he be busking on a London Street or at a small gig like this.

And then onto the main act of tonight’s performance – onstage at 9.30pm, welcome ladies and gentlemen to The Jim Jones Revue, to an enthusiastic response from the audience.  “Hello how u doing? Good to be back!” Previous commentators have said that to these guys, rock and roll stopped in the fifties, and now they deliver it in their own unique way -loud and proud and full of charisma.

This five piece are an eclectic mix of rock-a-biddy, Jerry Lee Lewis meets Little Richard, punk the Clash would be proud of, with smatterings of Bad Seeds, accompanied by piano as it only should be played in the rock and roll way. With some balls. And a bit of attitude. It is indeed loud, my son. The Krays would have booked The Jim Jones Review for one of their bashes. But don’t get the impression they’re not retro. Their enthusiasm, and ability to take inspiration from a range of musicians, rather than rip off, keeps them current. And they clearly love the buzz of playing live.

They’re out tonight to predominately promote the new(ish) album ‘Burning Down the House’ and the audience are well up for it, bouncing along or boogying on down at the sides. The Jim Jones Review are a far better live than on record, and you do need to see them live to do them justice.  ‘Dishonest John’ their current single is an alternative creep on this fifties genre.

Jones, complete in suit, with flop of hair and side burns, has a rasping booming voice that Bon Scott and local lad Noddy Holder would have been proud of in their day. An occasional booming Noddy scream – he’s a good pair of lungs on him. And at times he poses and dances, hand on hips, kinda Jagger-esk in stance.

They’re loud, and raucous and great fun, organized chaos on such a small stage. Jones has learnt his stage-craft well – and interacts with the audience regularly, getting them to sing back or clap. “Birmingham – it’s a rock and roll town man!”

A brief break and they’re back on – ‘Elemental’ – the crowd repeats back and we’re given another 15 minutes of hugely energetic, ear-bashing rock n roll. At times lead guitarist and Jones (plus guitar) dual stand at the corner of the stage – guitars aloft, rocking it out.

And, at the end of the hour long gig, they very probably would have smashed their kit up. Honest.

If you like a rip-roaring, bad ass, slightly alternative, punk inspired, loud rock n roll on a night out – then The Jim Jones Revue is for you. At a tenner a ticket – they’re well worth the punt. ‘Cos it’s rock n roll baby.

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Listening:

Lewis Floyd Henry  – ‘One Man and his 30W Pram’ (2010)

The Jim Jones Revue – The Jim Jones Revue(2008)

Burning Your House Down (2010)

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Weblinks:

Lewis Floyd Henry

Jim Jones Revue

Adam Ant and The Good, The Mad and The Lovely Posse @ 02 Academy Birmingham, 1st June 2011

Here’s the review I did for Adam Ant @ 02 Academy. The full review you can view on the Birmingham Live website! Accompanied by some awesome photos by Ian Dunn!

And so to the second night in succession to see a punk upstart, started off in the 70’s, was done over by Malcolm McClaren, shone supernova brightly, had trials and tribulations, before returning after a decade and a half hiatus. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the return of the dandy highwayman himself, one Stuart Goddard, aka Adam Ant and his new band The Good, The Mad and The Lovely Posse.

The crowd at the Academy this evening are an eclectic mix of punks, goths, rockers, general peoples, little peoples, people who’ve dug out the white eyeliner for THE stripe and dressed up, all of a really wide age range, and given that Ant’s greatest hits were in the very early 80s, this is somewhat of a surprise. At the time, a ‘limited’ world of musical access, where Radio 1 and Top of the Pops delivered the music, where your brought vinyl and cassette tape and read the likes of Smash Hits, it was when Adam Ant leapt through the window as a dandy highwayman, he became massive in the UK. For brief moment in time he was different, the double drumbeat of infectious commercial punk, an incredibly good looking uber hero guy – he was loved and hated at the same time. I have a lot to blame him for, pre-teen I was indoctrinated with ‘Ant Music’ and ‘Dog Eat Dog’ – he got me into music, with a taste for the different and alternative, whatever the genre.

So the announcement in late March that he was back, and playing live – meant that most the audience turned up intrigued, most of them not having the opportunity to see this chap live before – Would he deliver? Would he be any good? This is his first outing in 15 years.

Tonight’s gig had a four-band line up. Unfortunately I didn’t get there in time to seeJohnny Normal, local electro Brum lad, on stage at 7pm. I did catch Krakatoa, worth a quick mention, for their refreshing inspired British mod /punk (rather than many young bands who take their inspiration from America and the likes of Green Day). Reggae rhythms The Clash would have been proud of, and a great cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love”. Worth a look if they do a local date.

And so it’s 9.15pm, and the lights go down, dry ice floats across the stage, and a heart beat track with voice over emits from the sound system. We wait with anticipation for over five minutes before he appears, regaled in pirate hat with feather, classic Adam Ant jacket accompanied by his band featuring two drummers, starting off with ‘Plastic Surgery.’ Song completed – to sound applause from the crowd – here comes ‘Dog Eat Dog’, he peers at the audience through his glasses. The double drummers come into their own, even though his vocals are a tad ropey, the crowd sing along and complete the song with full ovation. He’s better than I thought he would be – does Captain Jack Sparrow far better than Johnny Depp!

A few songs in, he speaks –  “Hello” and begins to settle into the set. For ‘Deutscher Girls’ we get introduced to the to female singers – Twinkle Twinkle and Georgie Girl – “This song I got a lot of stick for, ‘cos people didn’t know the Second World War happened…”

“And then one day I jumped out of a window and everything changed….” reference to that video, and we’re into ‘Stand and Deliver’. Everyone sings all the words, the drummers do the job, and I feel a grin on my face. It’s a pleasure to see such a track, get such a response, to a person who was so huge many years ago. Rapturous applause.

Couple of songs later. “ In a past age, you didn’t have to impress Simon Cowell to get famous…… this song I nearly died for….” and we’re into ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier.’ “We are family….” sings the audience, to once again, a rapturous response.

“From the song that started it – to the song that finished it. When I went all ballady and lovey-dovey. Went in the shit house but I like to sing it anyway – this is ‘Wonderful.’

As the set goes on, he gets chattier, expletives everywhere. ‘Ant Music’ too gets a rapturous response. ‘Never Trust a Man with Egg (on His Face)‘ an annotate and dedication to Johnny Thunders, ‘Cleopatra‘ written for Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. ‘Goody Two Shoes’ is far better live than on vinyl – applause raises the roof. Again.

Then a minor rant about loosing the fourth song on the legendary Live Aid show due to ‘some irish bloke deciding to jump off the stage’. Let’s just say he wasn’t complimentary about Bono. The fourth song got played tonight ‘Vive Le Rock.’ “Imagine if I could have played three more songs…”

He’s an engaging character, far more at home being punk, able to say what the hell he likes, self effacing and slightly dangerously unpredictable, ripping up his previous persona  “I do drink, I do smoke…”  “You’ve got a guilty secret? I have –  A f*****ing truckload of ‘em!”

And then it’s time for the first encore – “I get a lot of people in suits asking what punk was about?” An anecdote about how a bunch of punks, including the Pistols, plagiarized this particular song, and we’re into ‘A.N.T.S’ a piss take of Village People’s ‘Y.M.C.A.’.

Then it’s a politically incorrect song “… but as usual I don’t care….”  ‘Fat Face’. And then an incredibly messy version of ‘Prince Charming’ as Ant gives up playing his guitar halfway through the song, his vocals ‘aint the best anyway, and it’s held together by the drummers and the audience – once again singing every word, a few doing those hand gestures. This is the song, where you really miss the fact that one time sidekick Marco Pirroni is not on stage with him.

Then it’s off, a rose that was thrown onto the stage in his mouth.

Back on for second encore we get a cover of TRex’s “Get It On” (not necessarily the best version I’ve ever heard) and then “Trent Reznor covered this song and he nicked my money, the arsehole – he’s not a f****ing punk rocker – he’s a businessman.” Ant’s not necessarily making friends with one or two people tonight. And we’re into the final song of the evening, the one that that Reznor covered, “Physical,” during which, this 56 year old punk strips off, bare chested.

And after an hour and three quarters he’s off. What we got here tonight was barely organized chaos. His personal struggles have been well documented. To come out and do this, to deliver, albeit not perfect, but to put yourself right on the line and give a crackingly good if slightly erratic evening – Mr. Goddard, you should be applauded.  It was great fun. You couldn’t help smiling. The lyrics were never the most poignant or deepest in the world, but you knew and sang every word to those key hits. He was bizarre in lots of ways and amazingly felt the need to be more ‘punk’ than Lydon, who I’d seen the night before. The musicianship aint great, the voice aint really there, the double drummers – genius to reprise that from the days of the Ants – and as said Pirroni was sorely missed. He should be a cartoon character – but he’s not. He’s bizarre. Outlandish. But class. In a truly bizarre sort of way. Well worth it.

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And if you missed this gig, and fancy a bit of 80′s nostalgia at Christmas to put a smile on your face – he’s back in the Midlands on  Friday 9 December 2011 @ Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton.

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Setlist:

1. Plastic Surgery

2. Dog Eat Dog

3. Beat My Guest

4. Kick

5. Car Trouble

6. Zerox

7. Deutscher Girls

8. Stand & Deliver

9. Catholic Day

10. Kings of the Wild Frontier

11. Wonderful

12. Ant Music

13. Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face)

14. Cleopatra

15. Goody Two Shoes

16. Vive Le Rock

17. Christian D’Or

18. Lady

Encore 1:

19. A.N.T.S

20. Fat Fun

21. Prince Charming

Encore 2:

22. Get It On

23. Physical (You’re So)

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Listening: Kings of the Wild Frontier (1980) – Adam & the Ants

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Website: www.adam-ant.net