What I hear you say Two live reviews from Jim Jones in a couple of weeks. Well, one is from the start of the tour and the other (this) from the tail of the tour. Besides it would seem both nights were fucking spectacular so the internet being flooded (ok maybe not flooded) with Rock and Roll can only be a good thing and if you’ve never seen this band then take some advice and get down and get with it if they’re ever playing near you (which they probably will)
Johnny took care of the support act as I was busy negotiating the M4 that had taken on the look of a rapid river such was the downpour this evening.
If uber did arks you can bet your bottom dollar there would be a rank of them parked on Castle St just around the corner from Clwb Ifor Bach tonight. Such is the ferocity of the rain that walking up to the venue I think to myself that maybe I’ve walked onto the film set of Seven…or perhaps make that Severn as I by the time I do finally reach the gig I look like I’ve been for a dip in said river.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, it’s on nights like this that gigs can tend to suffer attendance-wise especially with walk-up crowds and some lost souls even when they have bought tickets in advance then simply can’t be arsed to get wet and make the effort to get out the front door. Not so tonight though as even before the ungodly hour of 7:30 pm there is more than a healthy number of Righteous Minds in attendance to bid a very warm welcome to last-minute support act Joe Kelly & The Royal Pharmacy.
Joe’s mix of deep south (wales) blues and folk actually proves to be the perfect pick me up tonic after our early evening soaking as the two-piece set up (of guitar and drums) deliver songs like ‘Home’ from their recent ‘The Road’ EP that spark and glow like a warm campfire that the audience can huddle around to dry off.
There’s a haunting quality to Joe’s guitar that recalls David Lynch movie soundtracks and his husky sour mash fermented vocals are straight outta the Usk Delta, whilst on earlier songs like ‘Babylon’ I can see why some folks are getting a little bit excited and calling him a modern-day Dylan. As a band dropped in at the last minute to replace two other acts that had sadly fallen by the wayside due to illness Joe Kelly & The Royal Pharmacy just make their left of field take on this rock ‘n’ roll malarkey look oh so easy…
What, We carried a review from York on this tour but such is the undeniable force of nature that is Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind how could we not top and tail the tour? Having only seen the band play a few months ago on the opening night of the album’s release this was JJ&TRM having bedded in the new tunes and with some distance from their birth, this was another perfect night to check out one of the UK’s finest Rock and Roll bands currently treading the boards. Like a finely tuned beast and with a new single on show they were never going to disappoint it was more a question of how good they were going to be.
In fairness to Jim he has always played this neck of the woods and this must have been the umpteenth time I’ve seen him perform with one line up or another and I’ve never left a show unenthused or thinking about missing the next time he breezes through town. Kicking off with the wonderful stomp of ‘Get Down Get With It’ it’s hard to believe that things can’t go anywhere but downhill from here but following on from the glam tastic cover its ‘Boil Yer Blood’ and a couple more from the marvelous debut ‘Super Natural’ before we get a peek behind the curtail and the band wheel in a wonderful dramatic ‘Shazam’. ‘Sex Robot’ and ‘Satan Got His Heart Set On You’ as the band then flip flop from one album to the other picking the audience up then slamming them down before knocking out a rough house version of ‘Helter Skelter’ the band are absolutely in tune with one and other as they spar off each other trading guitar lick or bass line or percussion fill with the lap steel and piano chipping in with uplifting fills at every opportunity.
Looking like the Cult of real Rock and Roll in their roll necks or some brothers in arms armed with Guitars and music rather than Bullets and Bombs they’ll be queuing out the door to sign up to join the collective with these guys providing the soundtrack and message. It warms my heart to hear them rally against Austerity and tory Britain and how Shit Island is heading down the pan with clowns and Jokers at every turn but whilst were led by the snout by greedy politicians and right-wing loons I’ll take this soundtrack and I guess selfishly Great Rock and Roll always rises up in tough times and hearing the sermon of ‘I Found A Love’ for one evening the world outside can wait whilst I get carried away on a wave of Righteous Rock and Roll. After taking a walk through the audience and taking the message to the people on ‘Base Is Loaded’ they are called back for an encore that they richly deserve.
With the clock ticking the band has time for ‘Hold up’ and a blistering ‘Alpha Shit’ before we rejoin the rank and file on the rainy street of Cardiff with our ears ringing and another night of the finest Rock and Roll you could wish for pumping around our hearts. Amen to that Brothers Jim and the rest of the Righteous Mind you raised the bar a little higher than before – now when can we do it all again?