The Jim Jones Revue “Review”

Electric Ballroom, Camden – Thursday 25th October 2012

Tonight is my first experience of a sermon delivered by The Jim Jones Revue, and frankly, it is the most nourishing, wholesome performance on which I have reflected for a long time.  Jim Jones can preach to me any day.  Live, he and The Revue, are even better than they sound recorded.  With Jim Jones’ demented and gritty vocals, Henri Herbert’s hammered keyboard, teddy boy Rupert Orton’s driving guitar licks, Gavin Jay’s demonic bass and drummer Nick Jones keeping everything tight and the insanity under control, this is definitely top notch Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard style but suitably rough-edged and heavy.

The Electric Ballroom is packed.  Some younger faces can be recognised amongst the predominantly middle aged congregation.  But, despite the age gap, it is the draw of the new album that brings all ages here to worship.  The Savage Heart is aired this evening and it is nothing but a treat to hear the finely crafted explosion of new material intercepted with familiar favourites, from start to finish.  The dangerously titled “Shoot First” and “Burning Your House Down” feature early in the set and are delivered with pure rock and roll rebellion.  These are promptly followed by the pulverising new single “Its Gotta Be About Me” and from my bird’s eye view up in the narrow balcony, I spy a tiny crowd, close to the front of the stage, joyfully pulsing along to this amongst hundreds of stationary shoulders.  How anyone can withhold the desire to launch themselves into the arms of Jim Jones and his Revue is beyond me unless, of course, a dodgy back and dignity get the better of you.  Speaking of dignified and middle age, a little sparkle beside me catches my eye and reveals itself as legendary 50’s throwback and all round music connoisseur, Mark Lamarr.  A little shy of that famous dry wit, I chicken out of an impromptu interview and persuade myself that in being here tonight, I must, at least, have good taste in music.

By the time “Rock and Roll Psychosis” is followed by a five song strong encore that dishes up an excellent portion of the crazed “Elemental”, the rest of the floor space below me is moving quite satisfactorily and the band’s work is done.  Now, Mark Lamarr, what did you think of that?  Oh, he’s gone.

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