With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Friday, 19 October 2012

JIM JONES REVUE, John J Presley @Academy2 Birmingham 19/0/12

We confess to not knowing a great deal about John J Presley before this, but from the twenty minutes he and his two-piece band of a drummer and keyboard player spend onstage, you can safely say that he likes Tom Waits. In fact, if you can imagine Waits singing while Nick Cave added some twisted guitar riffs over the top you wouldn’t be far wrong.

If what he does is perhaps hard to quantify, it is nonetheless interesting. His Facebook page says that he is “blues with a folk noir twist” so we will go with that.

Living in its own little world RTM is usually blissfully unaware of what is, as the magazines used to say, hot and what is not this days in mainstream music. It is, therefore a surprise to turn up at the Academy 2 tonight and find it pretty packed. There are certainly more in attendance than a lot of the shows we have seen this year at this venue, so if its true that JJR are about crossover with the release of album number three - the just unleashed “Savage Heart” - then it does seem like a rare attack of good taste on the part of the British public.

It seems that after five years, Jim Jones and his merry men have become an overnight sensation.

They bill themselves as “garage rock” but that seems unnecessarily self-depreciating. JJR peddle something altogether more visceral and just a little bit more fun.

Jones is clearly influenced by the 1950s rock n roll sound, but he strolls onstage tonight looking like Elvis in 68 comeback special phase, however while the music is piano led we are not in Ben Folds Five territory, there is enough riffing here to keep the rockers, the blues fans and the punks all happy.

There beats a dark heart to these songs, so while Jones – a frontman in the classic strutting mode – is preening, he is doing so in a song called “Killing Spree” and in ”Catastrophe” which rhymes its title with the words “has to be” he has constructed possibly the best and worst line in rock all at once.

“The Savage Heart” is heavily and happily mined, and “Where Da Money Go,” “Eagle Eye Ball” and the swaggering “All About Me” are fine songs, sitting comfortably with older numbers such as “Dishonest John” and set closer “Burning Your House Down,” which takes on a much heavier and more passionate persona here, with the band really cutting loose in a manner they had previously hinted at during “Elemental.”

It is perhaps a cliché to say, but music really doesn’t sound like this anymore. Jim Jones Revue have the confidence, the swagger, the talent and the songs to bring it back. The Rock n Roll revival starts here.

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