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 band The 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.
Lewis Floyd Henry – ‘One Man and his 30W Pram’ (2010)
The Jim Jones Revue – The Jim Jones Revue(2008)
Burning Your House Down (2010)
Review - Zyllah Moranne-Brown
Photos – John Bentley