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Sunday, 18 April 2010

Jim Jones Revue/Tragic City Thieves - Captains Rest (Glasgow 17/4/10)

"The hottest rock'n'roll band in Britain right now" shouts Mojo magazine, while Classic Rock virtually screams at you that "This is no-holds-barred rock'n'roll in its rudest most thrilling state".
Both statements may very well be true, but regardless of their veracity it's very obvious to me that the hype is working because Glasgow's Captains Rest is heaving.
There is a part of me that is ecstatically delirious to see so many people out to see live music, but it's tempered with a little pessimistic sadness, as without the hysterical press surrounding the band I doubt that they could pull as many people.
I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that the majority don't organically find new bands to like through word of mouth, but simply wait to be told what's cool and what's not by the music press.
Maybe it has always been this way though and I've just become an old disillusioned curmudgeon.
Never the less this show is proof positive that even now with all the problems that the mainstream music industry has, that a good and sussed level of promotion can work wonders for a band.
It's still a bit of a shame though that a good chunk of the crowd who were there to see The Jim Jones Revue remained skulking about upstairs in the venue while the absolutely fuckin' wonderful Tragic City Thieves barreled through a set of debauched rock'n'roll classics in waiting.
Everything said about The Jim Jones Revue could equally be said about these guys. Granted it's not the same type of rock and roll, but the same fire is in the performance.
While the headliners worship at the alter of Little Richard, Chuck Berry and their ilk, the Tragic City Thieves are undoubtedly the bastard offspring of the NY Dolls and Alice Cooper filtered through The Dwarves and Turbonegro.
This is glam rock without all the limp-wristed hair metal connotations that goes along with the term. If the Tragic City Thieves were a night out then it would be a seriously drunken one that you have a sneaky suspicion that you enjoyed, but can't quite remember why. The sort of night that finds you coming to in a strange bed sporting a a black eye and the legend "Call Me" scrawled in lipstick on your chest, but you don't, as later that day every time you take a piss it's like passing glass.
You know the type I mean. Or maybe you don't.
Let's just say that it's the sort you chalk up as worth it at the time.
Well that sort of sums up what this band are all about. A hit and run performance that's as exhilarating as it is entertaining.
As for the uninitiated into the world of the Thievon. I'm talking about the punters who didn't venture downstairs people. Well all I can say is that you all managed to short change yourselves spectacularly, and missed what could possibly have been the best double act that Glasgow will see this year.
It's a shame really as Tragic City Thieves are a band to watch out for, and just maybe next time the people hovering at a bar in a different room shouldn't wait until Mojo and Classic Rock have given them the seal of approval before checking them out.
Onto the headliners. So did The Jim Jones Revue live up to the hype, or was the benchmark set too high for them?
The answer is that they are in fact one of the best rock'n'roll band gracing our stages at the moment, but the slavish hyperbolic praise that they are getting is working against them as I was wanting to be blown away completely. Not just hugely impressed, but left shellshocked and gibbering that I had seen the best band ever, ever, ever.
The facts are that they play soulful piano driven rock'n'roll at 100miles per hour relentlessly from the moment they step on the stage to the moment that they leave it and that should be enough to make any music lover swoon, but the press has encouraged us all to want just that little bit more and I'm not sure that there is that little bit more to give.
The only way the performance could have been improved on was if I was trollied on illicit drugs and that enhancement wouldn't have had anything to do with the band.
Without all the praise being heaped upon them and catching one of their shows blind I can say emphatically that yes I would have been left gasping at their performance, but I felt that due to all the interest in them I knew exactly what was coming every step of the way.
Jim Jones himself is a hugely charismatic front man and really drives the show forward in an exhaustive, sweat drenched and cocksure manner that reminds me of all the classic rock gods from the fifties right through to the seventies. Is it any wonder that MOJO and Classic Rock cum in their collective pants at the mere mention of his name as he really does tick all their boxes. The huge voice, the look and the retro swagger are all in place, and given time I'm sure that they will be stepping up to bigger stages and then be a band like The White Stripes who reference the past in the present, and occupy a space the the hearts of the public that on paper is a bit inexplicable as they don't fit in to any real demographic.
If they do then that will be great and I'll not be complaining, and if they don't then I don't really mind either as seeing them in a small sweaty club is always going to be their natural environment anyway.
So take of that what you will.
Are they good? Hell yeah. Did they impress? Damn right. Where they everything that the press has built them up to be? Well no, but no one is that good.


  1. Tragic City Thieves, Are 100% better than the Jim Jones Revue. I personally like Jim in thee Hypnotics. But PRETENDING to be IGGY POP for over 20 years is getting a lil old. This is only my opinion and I dont care what anyone else thinks (HaHa). But I do agree it's sad when ppl have to be told something is cool in order to go see it. Think for themselves not what some magazine that's getting paid by the record company to say something cool about a bad.

  2. Maybe its been going on forever to a degree and I'm just increasingly picking up on it, but it does seem to be that there has to be a mainstream seal of approval before people will go and see a band.
    Not everyone of course, but for fucks sake I wish people would get out there more and take a chance on seeing new bands.

  3. same here amigo, shit ppl need to get off the fat asses and go enjoy some rock n fucking roll!!!!

  4. Unfortunately missed their Jan gig here as Grinderman was two days after and I could NOT deal with Sydney for 4 days. Having said that, after they played, I was mortified at myself for not going. Now having said THAT, they will become a staple here in Oz I believe. Great Rock N' Roll! @ ND - Radio Birdman's Rob Younger could be accused of the same thing, Jon Spencer maybe too, hell let's chuck lux in aswell...and on we go..... :D
    P.S. TCT are a good f*@kin' band as well!

  5. Loads of good music going down here mate.