The Jim Jones Revue: Portsmouth – live review

The Jim Jones Revue
The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
23 October 2012

Live review

Still, the most-exxxxciting live rock’n’roll band in the country .. even on a weekday – or so says our reviewer Ged Babey.

A gig on a ‘school-night’ just ain’t the same, usually. A lot of us have gotta get up in the fuckin’ morning and drag our sorry asses to work, at a job we don’t particularly like, to earn a meagre crust, and be thankful to be able to bow and scrape to the boss (cos nowadays you have to be grateful). Consequently, on a week-night you can’t get hammered and dance yourself into oblivion because you have to conserve your energy for the rigours of the next day of wage slavery, and the next, and the next…

Jim Jones works damn hard for a living. He never gives less than 100 per cent onstage. He gives it his all. He sweats his ass off, constantly moving and grooving, revving up the band, rabble-rousing the crowd, preening and posing and growling and yowling. His banter is nuthin’ but a string of rock’n’roll clichés, yeahs, alrights, hell-yeahs and ughs!

The rest of the band are the most animated drummer, bass player and pianist you’ve ever seen and guitarist Rupert Orton, named after a fictional check-trousered bear, is as cool as Paul Simonon in his prime. They play as if their lives depended on it. They play hard, they work hard. They are committed to the rock and the roll and the boogie – working on the assumption that the harder they work, the greater the rewards, the greater the devotion of the fans. And it is working and paying off.

Everyone I know practically, with a couple of notable exceptions, loves the Jim Jones Revue. This gig was like a gathering of the brotherhood, as I imagine it is at all their gigs. All the hardcore regular gig-goers from the local punk, indie and garage scenes of the past thirty years show up, and others who only go to gigs once-a-year when its something extra-fuckin’-special make a welcome appearance. Its not just over-40s who are in attendance. The crowd is swollen to capacity with Radio 6 Music listeners and youngsters with a bit of insight and taste. Longhairs and grungers rub shoulders with the be-quiffed. spikey-tops, the Bryl-creamed and the balding, Jim Jones Revue appeal across the board. to all that wanna hear some rock’n’roll and feed off its energy and positivity and commitment.

The Jim Jones Revue: Portsmouth – live review

It all sounds a bit macho and male bonding but there’s a strong showing from the sisterhood in attendance too. The Jim Jones Revue are the sexiest band in tight trousers needless to say. There’s a false perception that there’s a whiff of old-style misogyny about the Band just because of a line in Its Gotta Be About Me about “the old in-out, in-out”. It’s utter bollocks, but the women love the idea of mythical bad-boy rocker anyway.

What did they play? Everything! – all of the Savage Heart and practically all of the previous albums too, almost and hour and a half including the encore or so it seemed. The slower, bluesier songs sound monumental live as I knew they would. In and Out of Harms Way was the absolute pinnacle amongst a whole range of peaks.

For an hour and a bit, everyday life, drudgery, debt and the hard-labour of the day was forgotten and Jim Jones and his Revue were the boss, and rock’n’roll was king and life was good.

(With apologies for lack of coverage to Good Time Charlies, who opened and were superb as always, and no apologies to Honkeyfinger who were tedious in the extreme – ok, just not to my taste maybe)

All words by Ged Babey. You can read more from Ged on LTW here.

All photos by Steve Little-Triggers.

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Ged Babey is 56. from Southampton, has written since 1985 for Sound Info, Due South, various fanzines and websites, contributed to Record Collector magazine and was sole author of 'Punk Throwback' fanzine -the name of which was taken from an insult hurled at him by the singer with a young band he managed for a while. Ged believes that all good music and art has a connection with punk rock.


  1. Spot-on. They were fantastic in Brighton last week. Music that reminds you where it all came from without being a pastiche and a kick in the eye to weak landfill indie.


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