Good ol’ rock’ n’ roll cannot die, you know what I’m talking about, this on-fire-boogie-woogie piano, this raw energy, these assaulting 50s guitar riffs, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry knew that very well, but what if this is done louder, faster, with more distortion, in a much more explosive manner,… more over the top basically?
This is what the English band The Jim Jones Revue did on Saturday night at the El Rey theater, throwing their straight-from-the-50s influences literally in our faces, and delivering them with a stormy and incendiary stage presence from start to end.
Their return to truly basic rock’n’roll, if there is such a thing, may sound at first as if nothing else had existed since ‘Tutti Frutti’ or ‘Great Balls of Fire’, but don’t be mistaken, even Jerry Lee Lewis would look like a choirboy compared to these guys and their electrifying rock number! And they weren’t hiding anything, opening their set with a wild cover of Little Richard’s ‘Hey Hey Hey Hey’.
Frontman Jim Jones (is it his real name?), who shares a name with the leader of the Peoples Temple, responsible of the Jonestown massacre – something other frontman Anton Newcombe could only wish for – is a ball of fury on stage, unrestrained at all levels, pushing the rock show to some passionate extreme and making us expect that our house is effectively about to burn down as one of their songs ‘Burning Your House Down’ seems to announce.
Moving at every corner of the stage, going down and up, front and back, many times during the show, this restless guy was moving faster than my camera could handle, constantly bombarded by flashing lights which were only adding to the beauty of his uncontrollable and brutal moves. He was acting as if he was building his own tribute to the greatest men of rocks, constantly screaming at the top of his lungs as if Little Richard was auditioning for AC/DC.
Elegantly dressed in a black suit above a red and black shirt, he was bearing a vague resemblance with Jack White, whom he counts among his fans according to The Jim Jones Revue facebook page,… Jack White and many others like Mick Jones, Bobby Gillespie, Liam and Noel Gallagher, Jon Spencer and Grinderman Jim Scalvunos to name only a few.
Anything can be said about this kind of power-house-retro-rock, it can be a sort of time-machine at times, but it is truly enjoyable, and the crowd at the El Rey theater knows what I am talking about, The Jim Jones Revue being absolutely an act to see live, as no recording can do justice to this ferocious loud act savagely beaten by these stomping piano lines…
Jim Jones, Rupert Orton (brother of Beth) on guitar, Gavin Jay on bass, Nick Jones on drums, and Henri Herbert on piano, are on a mission, a mission to ‘Save Your Soul’, like their 2009 compilation declares, but it may rather be a mission to resurrect the soul of rock and roll.
Hey Hey hey Hey
Burning your house down
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