Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Jim Jones Revue triumph in Gijon, Spain 9/8/2014

© D. Mainwood

The Jim Jones Revue crashed into Gijon, Spain last night just as the side effects of Hurricane Bertha were supposed to be hitting the UK. Seems like a fair exchange. They are not so much a band as an elemental force of nature and they managed to convert - possibly too late as the band are splitting in October - an initially indifferent crowd of two or three thousand (most of whom, as the gig was free, would never have heard of them and were just there to gawk) to their own firebrand version of rabid rock'n'roll fundamentalism.

Photo of the gig from the band's facebook page.
Click to enlarge
The gig was in Gijon's Town Hall Square. As I have mentioned elsewhere, it is not one of the best of places to play as it's a small square surrounded on all four sides by concrete and brick - mostly offices, restaurants and flats. Yes people actually live right next door and I expect they spent this morning repairing the windows, replacing the crockery and checking the walls and ceilings for cracks and sonic damage. Anyway, the crap sound you get usually in a place like that was rendered null and void by a band that actually thrives on distortion, echo and sonic mud. They overcame, they soared and they conquered.

The gig was a triumph. And intense. We are in the same stripped down to basics territory as the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion here. Super amplified 50s rock - as the Guardian's Michael Hann said, "The Jim Jones Revue imagine that rock'n'roll didn't really need to evolve after 1956; it just needed to get much, much louder, and wildly more distorted". So loud was it that, as I was close to the front of the stage, the impact of the sound was something you could physically feel. It actually felt like my chest was being pressed on and dug into. Fortunately however, rampant tachycardia soon instigated free-fall euphoria.

On stage the band recall some of my faves like the The MC5, The Stooges, The Who and Wilko Johnson era Dr Feelgood. Jim Jones (ex lead singer of 1980s psychsters Thee Hypnotics and Black Moses) is an authoritative frontman who often brings to mind Jagger and the 1968 leather clad Elvis. He easily won the crowd over on what could have been a difficult gig. Many people would just have been passing through the square - Gijon is having its "Semana Grande" - a week of town festivities and everyone is on the street - however most stayed and were transfixed and enthused by a gig that started off intense and just kept building until, by the time of the Eddie Cochran / Jerry Lee Lewis inspired encores, we were attaining hitherto unknown communal levels of musical rapture.

What a shame the band are calling it a day in October.

See them while you can.

Band page and farewell tour dates

The Jim Jones Review in Gijon
Jim Jones: Vocals / Guitar
Rupert Orton: Guitar
Gavin Jay: Bass
Nick Jones: Drums
Henri Herbert: Piano

More stranger than known

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"Elvis is on the guest list" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Gijon, Spain 22/05/2014 

Jonathan Wilson - Retro-Futurism at the Centro Niemeyer, Aviles, Spain...

The Sadies - This Week's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band in the World live...

Yé-yé! Spanish Nuggets - Ten 1960s Grarage, Beat and Psych classics from Spain.  


  1. Another great review. Well written as usual and reading it makes me feel I missed out on something rather special there. Pity!

    1. I'm sure your band could have picked up a few tips Bryan ;)