Jim Jones Revue - The Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Mon 28 Mar 2011
Storming show from the old school rock'n'rollers
Clement Monday nights in the shadow of the parliament and a stumble away from the pounded sheep trails where the radicals of the Enlightenment once surreptitiously gathered, are not supposed to be this loud, or fun.
We’ve been here before of course - the reawakened spirits of rockabilly and rock’n’ roller greats pulsing and parading through a million guises. The Cramps, Gallon Drunk, successive Morrissey backing bands and, of course, Thee Hypnotics - Jim Jones’ shamefully overlooked previous foray into garage/psychedelic/hard rock homage. Though occasionally cited as a major influence on the stoner rock of the 1990s (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Screaming Trees etc), mainstream success eluded Thee Hypnotics, and somewhere along the line frontman Jones decided that the missing ingredient may be found by digging in the collected primal filths of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Screaming Jay Hawkins and The Hillbilly Cat himself, Elvis. It’s an excavation job for sure, and one that puts this brilliant hardcore talented band right on the very edge of parody, yet somehow they emerge victorious.
Revue set list regulars ‘Hey Hey Hey', ‘Rock'n'Roll Psychosis’, ‘Cement Mixer’ and ‘Killin' Spree’ spread their disease of totemic posturing and loud rock and blues primacy. It’s madness and hedonism - and pure rock'n'roll abandon - that very few groups ever achieve. With the exception of a raucous but unfocused cover of The Beatles’ 'Get Back' there’s hardly a dropped note, a bum (unintentional) riff or a duff tune during this rocket pocket gig that is over all too soon. The Jim Jones Revue are the real thing and we should gesticulate and thank the great haymaker that they walk beside us.
The Jim Jones Revue were also ably supported by the Lewis Floyd Henry, a mop headed one-man band son of Hendrix via the White Stripes and Michael Bentine). Henry is a deranged and brilliant talent for sure, and I hope to see more of him in the future. Also The Bellrays, a blues/punk fusion of MC5 and Tina Turner at her ‘Nutbushiest’, gave, as always, a lot of bang for their buck. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a hard rockin' vixen of a lead singer come off the stage and belt it out amongst the crowd.
Long may they all live. In these desperate times, only the music of mania will do.