September 13, 2002 at 10:30 pm #44383
Just got back from the acoustic show at the Metro Club, London. Speaking as someone who doesnt know one end of a guitar from another, forgive me for my ignorance on guitar accessories as I enjoy the music without knowing the ins and outs….
Queue of a dozen or so people outside the venue without tickets at 21:00. My other half backed out at the last minute, so I sold my spare to the guy at the front of the queue – Apparently I would make a bad ticket tout as I sold it to him for face value.
The Metro Club is tiny, no exaggeration, with a small bar about 6 foot from the stage…weird. Good sound though and people were all in a good friendly mood. Everyone took the view that small venue + sold out show = barging when trying to get to the front / bar ares and everyone seemed chilled.
The support were "The Beatings". Not heard of them before but they were really good. Loud, played with plenty of feeling and had a great sound. Their playing at "The Garage" next month..might go check them out again.
There is no off stage entrance / exit at The Metro Club, so your left with the bizarre situation of the peformers having to walk through the packed crowd to get to the stage.
The Beatings made a low key exit through the crowd to a good ovation.
What happened next was slightly strange. Nobody seemed to notice J until he got through the crowd and stood on the stage area. Few people cheered or shouted as he surveyed the crowd…not people being rude, more like everyone in awe. Here is this genius, displaying the appearance of someone a bit ‘down on his luck’. Trademark jeans, trainers jacket, long greying hair and dark rimmed glasses.
Quick sound check and J was off. Hopefully someone will have a full set list – got carried away with the atmosphere and cant remember all the songs J played, however from the new album there was "everybody let me down" and "Free so Free" (I think). The latter was played with a C&W twang which sounded great and ELMD was also a highlight.
Now for my ignorant bit…J had 2 sets of pedals in front of him. One was for distortion (loud) and Ive seen them before at other J gigs. The second pedal was new to me. J would press the pedal and play a bass line to the song (ie "get me"). After releasing the pedal and pressing again the bassline would play and loop again and repeat itself, so you’ve got around 10-15 seconds looping. J would then play the song from the start, alongside the baseline, therefore giving the impression that 2 people were playing on stage at the same time. I took some setting up each time by J but the effect was absolutely brilliant and the crowd thought it was a great effect. J used this technique on Get Me, Alone and one other song at the start that I cant remember. When J was setting up the bassline, it seemed fairly loose and erratic and he tried a few times for each song, but like I say the effect was loud & brilliant (Think Watt & J together and you’d be about right)
Other highlights of the show were Quest, Ammaring, Sameday, Throw Down / Lung medley and the crowds singalong favourite – The Wagon. Like I say hopefully someone has a complete set list to put on this BB. Most songs had an additional loud and long guitar solo thrown in for good measure, which was appreciated by all present.
Needless to say he got a great ovation from the crowd throughout and no sign of idiot hecklers anywhere.
Just the one encore followed at the end. I rushed up to J with my pen & book to ask for his autograph. No problem – he signed straight away and then started signing for other people. He was in a good mood all night, although he kept the verbals down to the usual minimum !
As he ran the gauntlet of getting off stage through the crowd he was patted, hugged (by a woman who had drunk too much !) and given a great sendoff the crowd opened up before him to let him through. Past the bar, up the stairs and off he went. There was very little visible security in the building and everybody repected J’s space which was just as well.
All in all a GREAT night was had. He may not say much, J lets his guitar do his talking and it had plenty to say to everyone tonight.
Hope u all get to see J play in the near future as it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
SludgefeastSeptember 13, 2002 at 10:37 pm #62842
Sounds like a great night! Great review as well! <img>September 14, 2002 at 8:16 am #62843
DB – yeah it was a great night …ears still ringing this morning and woke up a bit dazed. Always a good sign!September 14, 2002 at 9:33 am #62844
I think that review summed up good, i believe it was "Freedom" and not "Feel so Free" that he played. Highlight for me was "Alone". Epic.
I think what struck me the most about the whole thing was just J’s attitude. I mean, he’s like a missionary or something. He comes all the way to play a one off gig in some tiny venue where most people in this country have forgotton who he is and he shows up with his pedals in his napsack and his buddy/manager by his side.
I saw him geting a coffee in Starbucks about an hour b4 the show and said hi, and he quietly acknowledged me. He puts these trendy, wannabe ‘rockstars’ people to shame with his talent and grasp on what it is musicians should do.
We saw something fuckin’ great last night. We were very lucky.September 14, 2002 at 9:42 am #62845
Well what an odd gig. J must be doing it on a tight budget. To get up on stage and, like some odd magician, pull various bits of electronic kit from a cheap backpack and assemble them in front of the waiting crowd was unusual for an artiste. For a while it looked like a ‘performance’ piece. The Metro isnt exactly a theatre is it, J couldn’t get off the stage so he simply began playing once he had all his boxes plugged in which suited me and most others Im sure
Still, very good gig. I liked the innovation of recording the main theme (it wasnt just the bassline, it was normally one riff repeated) of some songs onto a foot operated box so that he could trigger basic accompaniment for the solos. Some solos went a bit off the rails but overall the man did good. A lot of people around me seemed to be bored during many of the songs, but it seemed to me as I came in that I was the only person not on the guest list and guest list people dont really know the songs and so dont have the advantage of ‘hearing’ the song behind the solos. It just sounds like some madman trying to strangle a guitar.September 14, 2002 at 11:38 am #62846
Thanks for the review
Sounded like a beautiful GigSeptember 14, 2002 at 12:04 pm #62847
SludgeFeast, AndrewD, kockney thank you very much for the reviews!!! <img>
I just wish he would play some more European gigs…September 14, 2002 at 3:47 pm #62848
Thanks for the great reviews, definitely sounds like you guys saw something pleasing…not all that surprised <img>
SludgeFeast, dazed, ears bleeding & happy sounds like a pretty cool place to be <img> Good to hear from you again!
ps Flying Cloud Jasper talked to J’s manager at the gig in Holland, he’s coming back to europe in November for some shows…fingers crossed its close enuf for you to check out <img>
<small>[ 09-14-2002, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: Valentine Frankenstein ]</small>September 14, 2002 at 5:23 pm #62849
Allison – good to be back, dodgy ears and all !! yeah it was another great show last night.
Cant help wondering what the purpose was by coming all this way to play one show at a small venue in London, before presumably heading straight back to the USA.
Wouldn’t of thought it would be just for promo purposes (despite being sold out it was such a small venue so not that many people would have been able to get in) and anyway there were only 3 new songs played.
Anyone have any ideas or thoughts on this ?September 14, 2002 at 5:32 pm #62850
I actually thought he was going to do a few more shows, he played a show in Holland on the 11th. City Slang let us know he would be going over in September to do a couple promo shows/radio spots with a small audience, maybe he’ll show up somewhere else…surprise us all!!!
Here’s the link to the reviews, set list and link to the archived show on a dutch site… short but sweet show Couple people uploaded the show to the Blah ftp…so you can get it if you want <img>
Apparently he’s heading back to europe in November, hope he goes your way again.
Take care of those bleeding ears <img>
<small>[ 09-14-2002, 03:37 PM: Message edited by: Valentine Frankenstein ]</small>September 15, 2002 at 2:47 am #62851
Fantastic show! Just as good if not better than the one at the Underworld a couple of years back. It was good to be at the front and able to see everything this time. Even my friends who are not massive fans were impressed. They couldn’t believe how laid back J was! He just kinda strolled on stage with his rucksack, and set up all his pedals and gear by himself, then sat on the stool and wrote out the setlist right before playing! As already mentioned he was sampling his own playing with a digital delay pedal? before some of the songs. This enabled him to play the guitar solos while the sample of the acoustic rhythm bit was looped in the background. During Alone he had the sample run the whole song, and just solo’d over the top – sounded very effective. 3 songs from the new album I think, one of which sounded amazing, don’t know the names, 2 off More Light and all the usual favourites like Repulsion, Little Fury things, the Wagon, Flying Cloud, Thumb etc. No covers this time. The packed crowd all seemed to enjoy it, he got a good reception. I just wish I could go to these shows night after night. He really is awesome.September 15, 2002 at 6:45 pm #62852
Sounds like a great show saaad i missed it <img> people should come north when they visit england too, anyway, glad people had a great time and a greaat review too <img>September 15, 2002 at 8:49 pm #62853
The metro show was really cool. The looping thing was great and the distortion pedal was really raw and loud. He did this really strange version of Alone which I loved and as he played Flying Cloud and Not You Again (my faves), I had a smile on my face for hours.
He didn’t have a Martin guitar though…hmmm
A fun moment was when J stopped playing half way through a song, drummed on the guiatar for a while and then went back into it, very cool indeed. He also did the same by tuning the guitar half way through. Adding to the relaxed nature of the show. I spent the following day learning to play as many Dino-songs as I could. I guess that shows how much I enjoyed it.
bang fizz.September 16, 2002 at 6:59 am #62854
Went to the Metro show on friday. As everyone else said it was so laid back, a real tonic to hyped up stars etc. I was a bit worried about the venue Id heard bad things about the sound system but it seemed fine to me! <img>
The support band were wicked loud and distorted, nice! <img>
Went with Breezy and a few other friends and everyone enjoyed it. As we were leaving, J was at the bottom of the stairs and I was the only one of my friends to notice him there, and promptly made a fool of myself by shaking his hand and sluring something to him. He looked genuinly scared <img> , but not as scared as he did when Breezy got his photo taken with him <img> . So J if you read this i apologise. Im sure Breezy will apologise later when he has a moment. I still havent washed my hand <img> .
Wicked show. Always wicked. Just wish i hadnt drunk so much!
Come back soon J we love you <img> !!!!September 16, 2002 at 7:18 am #62855
I got my wish – woohoo! A beautiful version of Quest! He even did the brilliant drumming bit off the acoustic version on the Get Me single! Fuck i love that sonG! The rest of the gig was brilliant and I belive the pedal he was using to loop the sound was a delay pedal of some kind (I know I can set mine up to do that) and it really helped the solos – not just because it was a cool idea. He played pretty much everything wanted to hear (including Quest – thank you J). He did seem rather like a wandering musician when he just appeared on stage and just did his own setup thing (I mean even the Beatings had a roadie). Just magic!
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