The Jim Jones Revue
Brass Knuckle Evangelists, Freddie Pompei's Fight F*ck and Dance
2639 Poplar St
Philadelphia, PA, 19130
This event is 21 and over
The Jim Jones Revue
The Jim Jones Revue have in their short history criss-crossed the world, shared bills with The Stooges,Grinderman and The Dead Weather become rock 'n' roll statesmen in France, sold out London's Koko and made phenomenal live appearances on TV's Later with Jools Holland and The David Letterman Show. Their fourth studio album The Savage Heart is all set to secure their place in music's rich rock heritage.
Their most exhilarating work to date, The Savage Heart expands the sonic remit of The Jim Jones Revue way beyond their renowned brand of manic rock 'n' roll to include exciting new musical territory in the form of tribal stomps, blues field hollers, a capella spirituals and even a doo-wop ballad.
"We're not going to keep making the same record over and over again," says Jim. "That doesn't interest us. We are interested though in keeping up the same high level of intensity."
Jim Jones has pedigree, having first honed his craft in Thee Hypnotics, who recorded four albums between 1989 and 1994, including their debut Live'r Than God on the Sub Pop label. After Black Moses, his garage rock trio, The Jim Jones Revue was born from a collaboration with guitarist Rupert Orton, who Jim met at the Not The Same Old Blues Crap club night Rupert has run since 2004. With a line-up completed by bassist Gavin Jay, drummer Nick Jones and keyboardist Elliott Mortimer – replaced in 2011 by Henri Herbert – the group found their feet immediately.
"We wanted to capture the excitement we'd felt when we were younger and watching Johnny Thunders, The Gun Club, The Birthday Party," says Rupert. "We felt it was missing in so many new bands we were seeing at that time."
Their 2008 self-titled debut, The Jim Jones Revue, recorded live in just 48 hours, was an exciting collision of raucous hollering, rama-lama-lama riffing and tear-it-up piano in a pinned-in-the-red wall of distorted noise. Here To Save Your Soul, a collection of non-album singles and orphan tracks, followed in 2009, confirming their role as the premier purveyors of deranged rock 'n' roll, referencing all the abovementioned blues and rock heroes -- with an extra dash of The Sonics and Bunker Hill thrown in for good measure.
2010's Burning Your House Down saw their first collaboration with producer Jim Sclavunos (of Grinderman and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds), delivering a swaggering eleven-song assault, with a warmer full-bodied sound and solid rock n' roll song craft.
Producer Jim Sclavunos is on board once again for their latest, The Savage Heart. Recorded in just over two weeks at The Chapel in Lincolnshire and Edwyn Collins' West Heath Yard studio in West London, The Savage Heart builds on the balls-out rocking of its predecessors, but also offers an expansive vision of the band, with a wider palette of sounds and a broader scope of material.
"While the group look back into the roots of rock n' roll, we've never gone backwards in what we do," says Jim. "It's always about pushing things forward for us." It was in this same spirit of bringing in new challenging elements into the proceedings, that Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele) was called in to mix the album at Elephant and Castle's The Engine Room.
Integral to the group's vigorous new sound is the addition of pianist Henri Herbert, who replaced original member Elliott Mortimer last year. Henri has diversified the group's keyboard vocabulary, drawing not just on the likes Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard but Otis Spann, Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons as well. "He's the Professor of Piano," affirms Rupert. "His wealth of knowledge is astounding. He's really re-shaped our approach."
The Savage Heart has everything a Jim Jones Revue devotee could possibly desire, and heaps more to entice a new fan. Driving opener "It's Gotta Be About Me", an intense blues that builds to exploding point, the nasty Diddley-esque whirlwind of "Never Let You Go", and the rousing rage of "Where Da Money Go?" are all classic up-tempo Jim Jones Revue tunes. "Eagle Eye Ball" sees Jim Jones linking voyeurism and surveillance TV, the outro climaxing in berserk rant with torrential backing from the band.
The Savage Heart also contains surprises. "7 Times Around The Sun" (which features Jim's testifying backed against a stark backing of group vocal, percussion and piano -- not a guitar in sight!¬) and "Chain Gang", a potent feedback-layered take on an Alan Lomax-style field holler, throw some curve-balls into the mix, offering unprecedented facets of what The Jim Jones Revue are all about as a band.
Album closer, "Midnight Oceans And The Savage Heart", the group's first-ever ballad, conjures up a strange mixture of innocent heartache and unsettling David Lynch-style eeriness.
The tribal groove of "In And Out Of Harm's Way" is something else again, drawing on the voodoo rhythms of Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Rupert explains the song's origin: "We were travelling back from France last August, and saw what looked like London going up in flames on a TV in the petrol station, but didn't know what was going on. As we approached Hackney, we realised we were heading straight into the riots. Police were marching down the street and we suddenly found ourselves in a war zone. It was our very own heart of darkness. Instead of going up the Congo, we were getting close to the heart of savagery in our home town."
"And that's where the title of the album, The Savage Heart, comes from," says Jim. "We got to thinking how thin the veneer of civilisation actually is, and how quickly it comes away to reveal the brutality of man, whether it be the 1% banking traders or the kids rioting on the streets. There's this savage undercurrent in all of us and it's amazing how quickly we revert to that. The closer we got to Hackney that night the more insane everything became. That fed into the music."
Among their legions of fan, the group can count several rock luminaries including Jack White, Mick Jones, Bobby Gillespie, Noel Gallagher, and Nick Lowe. The latter, credited on The Savage Heart as "spiritual advisor", even dropped by rehearsals for a one-on-one with the band. "It was an honour for us to get Nick Lowe's thoughts and advice on the record," says Rupert.
"We do this because we love doing it. You get on stage in front of a crowd, it doesn't matter how tired or ill you might be feeling, the experience elevates you," says Jim. "You connect with a higher power, and the crowd connect too. We want to keep pushing that, taking it higher and higher."
Brass Knuckle Evangelists
Leather skinned, black souled, chrome hearted, foul mouthed and cool as ice.
Brass Knuckle Evangelists were born of NYC, the glorious results of a misspent youth...
Evel Knevel plugged into a fuzzbox, Muddy Waters wearing KISS makeup, Little Richard running cons with The Little Rascals.
Brass Knuckle Evangelists came together when four hard rockin' veterans of the downtown NYC music scene decided to pay Lower East Side flavored homage to the glorious electrified blues and garage and soul drenched rock of the 1960's and 1970's.
Brass Knuckle Evangelists are taking that sound to the streets and giving it to the people...
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