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Definitely my favourite Jim.

January 26, 2013

I first came across The Jim Jones Revue in 2009, when they played at the Open House Festival with Andrew Weatherall supporting. I hadn’t heard them but reading about them was enough to make me want to go and see them so I bought tickets and was so glad that I did. That night introduced me to one of the best frontmen I have ever seen, and to some great music which is regularly played (quite loudly) in our house.

I went to see them again in the Speakeasy at QUBSU a few months later and it struck me how much Jim Jones relies on the crowd to feed his energy and showmanship. There was a lot fewer people than had been at the Open House gig and it seemed somewhat flat in comparison. While the band were still as tight and Jim himself, as charismatic as always, the low numbers and inertia of the crowd seemed to affect the show a lot. I remember remarking to my brother that I really, really hoped they would come back to Belfast as I was worried that they wouldn’t because of the attendance at that show.

The Sabrejets

The Sabrejets

I need not have worried. Last night saw the return of the band to a sold out Black Box as part of the 13th  Out to Lunch Festival.

Ably supported by local rockabilly heroes The Sabrejets, who knocked out a load of classic punk covers as well as their own stuff, the Jim Jones Revue strutted, sweated and spat through 90 minutes of distorted, sleazy, bluesy rock n roll…and I loved every minute.

The crowd, which ranged from bald middle-aged men to young mods, also lapped up every riff, snarl and pounding piano line. The band played a good selection of songs from all three of their albums (including my favourite Cement Mixer) and were demanded back for 2 encores.  Their popularity seems to have increased significantly, with their last album Savage Heart (produced by Jim Sclavunos of Bad Seeds and Grinderman fame) receiving rave reviews and they have been championed on BBC Radio 6 over the last few years. The band is incredibly tight and effortlessly cool and there is a huge emphasis on crowd participation (of which I am a big fan!).

Crap photo of the brilliant Jim Jones Revue

Crap photo of the brilliant Jim Jones Revue

While the rest of the band demonstrate that they are more than capable of  impressive performance, Jim Jones is an absolutely incredible frontman – sexy, swaggering and hypnotic. He had the crowd eating out of his hand and joining in like their lives depended on it.

Jim Jones in the middle of the crowd

Jim Jones in the middle of the crowd

I’m not quite sure if I want to marry him (if I wasn’t already married) or just want to be him when I grow up.  A discussion with a young  (heterosexual) male friend at the end of the night told me that it wasn’t just me who thought that. Jim Jones seems to have that effect on a lot of people. If they are playing at a venue near you go and see them. Take my word for it, you won’t be disappointed. Anyway, enough gushing. Summary – brilliant gig in the best venue in town. It’s only rock ‘n’roll but I love it.  9.5/10.

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