The Jim Jones Revue
Photography by Mila Reynaud
Can I get an Amen brothers and sisters? The Jim Jones Revue hath returned to Los Angeles after a two year stint of explosive detonation worldwide. Performing sold out shows across the globe and being hailed as one of the greatest rock and roll bands in circulation today, Brothers Jim, Rupert, Henri, Gavin and Nick have brought their own brand of salvation to the sinners on the Sunset Strip.
The Jim Jones Revue North American 2014 tour kicked into high gear with what has been touted as a jaw dropping performance at the Bowery Electric in NYC on New Year’s Eve. It’s been said the band rocked it so hard you could hear them all the way to Brooklyn. Additional tour dates will descend in places like Philadelphia, Chicago, Pontiac and Toronto, however, the west coast seems to have been left out in the cold. But thanks to what appeared to have been a last minute addition, and possibly some persuasive action from promoter extraordinaire Dayle Gloria, Los Angeles was blessed with a visitation.
Arriving early and staking my claim, I waited it out for what seemed like an eternity at the front of the stage. Fortunately, thanks to ensuing camaraderie, and some liquid substance, I held my ground. The simultaneous cut of house lights and music caused the audience to create brouhaha as the curtain drew and Henri Herbert pounded the opening refrain of “Where Da Money Go?” It was on.
Fender amps blazed as simpatico guitar accentuated throughout the opener. Jim hooped and hollered with rasp in the red vocal. No tweakage necessary. The crowd closed in, recoiled and closed in again, as if caught in some sort of a sonic wave. Jim poised rhetorical to the congregation “Where did all the money go?”
Dropping the boom, “Never Let You Go” mixed sexual innuendo, pub-like refrain, and raw unadulterated ruckus that worked us into lather. Gavin Jay plummet the bass and maneuvered the stage. Jim Jones sought sure footing as he quipped that the circular stage was a challenge and had already run afoul.
Jim told us to take our best shot as “Shoot First” let us have it with both barrels. Mr. Jones rabble-roused audience participation coaxing us to shout out “Shoot”, or was it “First”. My memory fails me. “Burning down the House” pretty much did just that thanks to an incendiary display. Henri didn’t tinkle the keys, he annihilated them, and Jim took the opportunity for some serious hip swagger.
With the placement of additional microphones and the removal of guitar and bass, The Jim Jones Revue performed “7 Times around the Sun” from their latest release “The Savage Heart”. Pre-show, I was wondering if this song was to be on the set list, and if so, how it would come off live. Completely blown away comes to mind as the spiritual was propelled by keys and drums, and a whole lot of hand clapping. Powerful backing vocals just made it more, and I found myself joining in on the foray.
Some between song banter had Jim asking “You doing alright?” The crowd responded with an arousing affirmation to which Jim replied, “I don’t care. It’s gotta be about me”, and proceeded with an octane fueled “It’s Gotta Be About Me”.
Nick and Henri laid it down for “Collision Boogie”, that, I still can’t find it on US iTunes new smash JJR single. Additional percussion supplied ala Jim’s maracas and Gavin’s tambourine and arousing choral delighted. At conclusion Jim joked that was the end of the acoustic numbers, and insinuated it was all full tilt from then on. He wasn’t lying as the Jim Jones Revue clobbered us with “Righteous Wrong”. Jim got on his knees mid –tune, as if he had become possessed by a rock and roll specter.
Without a flinch, Rupert Orton did a guitar change-up midway through the beginning of “Killing Spree” due to what seemed to be a broken string, and continued his sonic soiree. Together with Jim and Gavin, they rollicked front and center. Jim taunted for “Cement Mixer” undoing his top shirt buttons in a sultry fashion fitting with the strip tease semblance. Percussionist Nick Jones hit it on the two, four and for unknown reasons seemed to me akin to drummer Martin Chambers in style and persona. Maybe it’s his English flair or his ultra-hip abilities that caused me to think such.
Jim taunted wondering if we still had any energy left, because apparently they sure did as they tore into “Rock and Roll Psychosis”. The onslaught continued with the likes of shuffle based “Another Daze” and right out of the chitlin circuit, “Who’s Got Mine?” The revival was in full force Holy Roller style.
The band opted out of the traditional leaving the stage charade and coming back for the encores. Jim asked us if we just wanted the music. No brainer indeed. Rip snorting lead guitar accompanied “Dishonest John”. Nice piano break followed ‘don’t say yes, say yeah!”
The Hollywood noise statute was violated in full thanks to “Elemental”. Additional charges included The Jim Jones Revue reviving musical forms from earlier eras. I’m talking pure raw rock and roll. It just doesn’t get any better than this. Final offerings of the evening were “High Horse” and “Princess and the Frog”. Both full fledged bombardments of the senses. Both divine interventions from the mundane.
Post show, I got a chance to chat with Gavin, Nick and Jim in The Viper’s downstairs bar. Thanks for tolerating a madcap mates. The band had swag of all shapes and sizes for sale. Do pick some up if you are at one of the shows. I am still kicking myself for not grabbing that bad-ass JJR t-shirt when I had the chance.
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Mila Reynaud Photography