Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Heaven, London
Wednesday 08 December 2010
The warm-up act was only half joking when they said they'd been asked to play their set twice to fill in as a snow-impeded Jon Spencer Blues Explosion raced across London. More than an hour after they left us, the audience was decidedly tepid. So it was lucky that when JSBX finally turned up, their menacingly synthesised New York sound soon sent the temperature gauges soaring.
Opening with a "Thank you for waiting" and "Chowder", the band, fronted by a leather-trousered Jon Spencer, began strutting and whooping at top speed – their early-Nineties punk-revival spirit undimmed. The notorious "Fuck Shit Up" really got the crowd going.
For a band on tour promoting a retrospective album, Dirty Shirt Rock'n'Roll: The First Ten Years, nearly 20 years after they first started out, JSBX sound remarkably modern. But having informed the likes of the White Stripes and The Strokes, who may well have appropriated their devil-may-care performance style, what was once progressive now sounds like it has been done before – and probably done better.
Spencer spat plosives into the microphone with panache – so that while the words were often unintelligible, his attitude and charisma kept his audience with him.
The band, which never quite achieved the renown of their early Noughties counterparts, appear to have a bit of a chip on their shoulder. During "Blues Explosion Attack" the band sings: "[It's]1997 and the Blues Explosion is under attack from all sides/ By the media/ Don't listen to what they have to say/ Make up your own mind/ Stand up for rock'n'roll." But then, they are a garage rock band.
A teeming audience, many of whom had travelled a long way in the snow, were happy in the palm of the band's hand. Overall, an energetic and interesting set.
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
- 2 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Top 20 films that make you feel good
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?
Cilla Black's 12 best songs, from 'Anyone Who Had a Heart' to 'You're My World'
Zoolander 2 trailer leaks online and it's really, really, ridiculously good looking
Game of Thrones season 6: Northern Ireland set photos leak online
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains