British one-man band Lewis Floyd Henry was the support this evening for Jim Jones Revue at the East Brunswick Club. Having seen this act a few days ago supporting Regurgitator on the New Year’s Eve show at The Corner, not much has changed. Henry specialises in playing the blues via guitar, harmonica and a toy drum kit. One thing was different from the show at The Corner; at tonight’s show, he had an ego the size of Uluru – a definite case of arrogance and self-belief being bigger than actual talent.
Too talented a musician to be written off completely, but too much of a novelty act to be taken seriously at one point, he doused the crowd with beer; unprofessional, unwelcome and just plain fucking rude. His shtick came off as very forced, affected and ultimately fake, which was put into harsh contrast once The Jim Jones Revue hit the stage.
Jim Jones and his merry men ripped into the first track of their set, the anthemic “Hey Hey Hey Hey” – a band with attitude, style and something to prove, which they did and then some, over the next seventy-five electrifying minutes.
Singer/guitarist Jim Jones was a magnetic presence on stage. Part evangelical preacher, part early Elvis Presley reincarnate, he proceeded to inspire, cajole and work the sold out crowd into an absolute frenzy. A really striking front man with a great bluesy/rock holler and vocal style, he was backed by a truly brilliant band; co-founder Rupert Orton on guitar and the extraordinary Henri Herbert thumping the absolute shit out of the keyboard, this was a band truly on fire, inspiring the crowd in a singing and dancing storm.
Tonight featured a well-chosen set from their back catalogue. This was a band that truly make an impact more on a live front than record, where you can feel the music in your heart, your mind and your bones. It prompts an incredibly visceral response. Track highlights included the utterly storming “Rock And Roll Psychosis”, the utterly brilliant “High Horse”, the slower, filthy blues of “Shoot First”, and the stomping “Chain Gang”.
Based around early rock and roll, with the thumping piano backbone that is at the heart of The Jim Jones Revue, the band encompass a love of basically the past fifty years of music, throw everything into a blender, and make their own beast of music with it. Although one can see what has fired up and inspired the band, this is no mere rehash or photocopy. The Jim Jones Revue has a truly exciting sense of character and personality to them.
One of the best moments tonight was during the encore. Jones expressed the band’s love of legendary band The Gun Club by performing an unrecorded track from that band, the incendiary “Not My Problem”. This was a really nice moment of one band paying homage to another that has inspired them along the way. This was a brilliant encore, featuring some great tracks like “Big Len”, “Premeditated” and “Elemental”. The night finished off in truly rocking style with “The Princess And The Frog”.
Something is going to have to be truly special to top this in regards to gigs in 2012 on the local front. The Jim Jones Revue is one of the best live acts in the world at this very moment. This is a band that truly deserve to take over the world. Come back to Australia any time, fellas. You’re always more than welcome here.
– Neil Evans