Link to the
4 March 2000
IT'S YOUR LIFE
Alone again - VALEDICTION
The PRESSED MAN.
LOVE SONG NUMBER 5
MONEY FOR OLD ROPE BLUES
WHEN THE LIGHTNING COMES
- SWEET HOME ALABAMA/SANTIAGO - When The Lightning Comes reprise
SHED NO TEARS - Rock'n'Roll
- Baby Please Don't Go - All Right Now - Feel Like Makin' Love - How Many
KEEP THE BLUES - SHINE
ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND
2UP 2 DOWN."
Roll Over Beethoven -
Freebird - KNOCKIN' ON HEAVENS DOOR
Here we are again, back
in Reading Beethoven’s for the first Jump gig in almost 3 months. The usual
nominal fee of £2 is paid on the door as we enter to find a busier
than usual bar area. I'd forgotten just how much I enjoyed seeing this
band and it was nice to experience the show again. If you've not
seen Jump 'in the flesh' then you really must get along to a gig as the
music comes over so well live. I think what makes the shows so enjoyable,
apart from the musical ability of the band, is the wonderful stage presence
and usually witty banter of John Dexter Jones. It's little wonder
that he was voted Best Male Vocalist by the Rotherham-based Classic Rock
Society late last year as he really does stand head and shoulders (physically
as well as metaphorically) above many other frontmen. He certainly has
the 'gift of the gab', and he's only a Welshman! ;-) All I knew about
Jump before I first saw them perform was that they were very Fish/ Marillion
inspired. I guess, to an extent, that comment is true - but only
in respect to one side of the frontman. John certainly has the same sort
of approach to an audience and story, as well as a need to comment on and
link current world matters into song introductions as does Fish.
He goes further than Fish though, actually changing whole lines of tracks
to tie in with his introductions. After 10 years of this he really is a
master of the art. I've seen plenty of frontmen in my time and John
ranks well up the list, probably top of the list of entertaining storytellers.
Gillan, Fish or Ian Anderson would have probably been the other contenders
but they've all fallen by the wayside in recent years.
Gillan (my all-time fave
vocalist) has regressed from consummate entertainer and storyteller to
one line rehasher (all be it in slightly different context) on recent tours,
Ian Anderson seems to have discovered swearing - the last show I saw every
track introduction seemed to have at least one or two swear words included,
and Fish has recently hung up his touring flippers and just doesn't do
it any more!
after 21:15 the sextet that is the Jump music machine wandered through
the crowd to only minimal applause. John Dexter Jones (JDJ from now on)
wasn't happy at this low level of excitement from the usual crowd, tonight
bolstered by some locals, and told us that he wanted a "lot more than that
from us!" I should perhaps point out, for those of you who have never experienced
Jump in action, that JDJ's sense of humour knows no bounds. He will have
a go at anyone he thinks is a fair target - the band suffering as much
as the audience. He had a go at the smoke machine operator, in no uncertain
terms, the first time I saw Jump. There have been one or two times that
I feel he's stepped over the line but thankfully these occasions have been
few and far between.
This is the first Jump gig
of the year and, indeed, Millennium (in computer users eyes at any rate)
and dead handy now that Tracy had recently moved to Reading. The Millennium
must have been wiped from the mind of JDJ after the Welsh defeat at Rugby
this afternoon as the expected comments (after those he made in the couple
of the pre-Christmas shows we saw) failed to materialise.
There were other matters,
more pressing than a mere New Millennium or loss at football, on tonight’s
agenda however, the release of their latest CD, Matthew. The disc was not
due for general release for a month or two in the shops but fans tonight
would be (the first people) able to purchase it.
John recited a few lines
of Dylan's ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER before the band launching into the
first track of the evening (starting as they meant to go on with one off
the new CD) PARADISE MISLAID. To regular Jump gig-goers this pulsating
track may not have been a completely new, they'd played it several times
before at previous shows, though possibly not at Beethoven's. Time only
for the title to be spoken by JDJ before the music moved directly into
IT'S YOUR LIFE, again from the new CD.
A brief dedication preceded
the following song, "to all the people bereft in Chechnya, this is MOSCOW
CIRCUS". There is a distinct rollercoaster feel to the beat on this
number - a very pleasant track to bop along to. During this track JDJ began
the first of many references to current affairs, General Pinochet and Chile
being the target in this case. He even went as far as changing whole lines
of lyrics to these references." and somewhere in Chile, a remarkable recovery"
This is one of those things that make coming along to a Jump gig so enjoyable,
you never get the same show twice! The overt politics of Moscow over, a
simple nod of the head from JDJ to Pete brought forth the riff for EVERYBODY
STOP, the first truly new track of the evening. Again it features a
similar, almost reggae, beat to the previous track. It is also from 'Matthew'
but this was the first gig that the band played it live.
"Thank you. I spent today
walking around Aylesbury." "Crying!" came the call from the crowd
in reference to JDJs team having lost miserably at football earlier in
the day. Slightly miffed (the heckling touching on a sore point) John dodged
the heckle by mocking the bandit player in the corner before continuing
"We're talking football tonight…" (more current affairs). Eventually he
made it to introducing another new song, dedicating it to the Northern
Ireland secretary, "Peter Mandelson and Nigel Campbell, the people who
make our lives worth living by telling us what we should be thinking, DR
SPIN." Unfortunately Pete is not quite ready for this straight-ahead
rocker so there is a slight delay whilst he “plays with his new toy" (a
guitar pedal?) and gets it ready.
is a song called MATTHEW." Over the slide guitar (Pete) and military
drumbeat (Andy Barker) of the albums title track he added "In all the pizza
joints in all the world, he had to walk into mine" for some unexplained
reason. Again, this track has been played at many of the shows last year
though the old introduction had been dropped (as Matthew may have been
in the audience.) The song is mellow through the verses though it has a
warm bass backing care of Mr Faulkner. Some of the lyrics were changed
to "Led Zeppelin, but then again Jimmy's got a few fans of his own" in
place of the usual REM lyrics. Deep purple got a look in too with
mention of "Speed King, Black Night and "hey, Peter and Ritchie, what a
"We went through a whole
period of time when we worried if Matthew might come to a gig so we changed
the title to Terry!" Terry (the lighting man) then took a lot of stick
about his hair, and actually having some, as well as being on the cover
of a Jump newsletter before the insults moved on to being cheeky about
Steve beginning to lose his. What was the point of this? Merely to embarrass
people? No, the song introduction continued, "This is a song from the Myth
of Independence, produced and played on by a certain bald person. This
was played on by Mr Mark Kelly... VALEDICTION."
The next link told how JDJ
and Andy had "driven around,arriving late to avoid setting up gear." The
plan was flawed however as the others managed to break his monitor amp.
That'll teach them to try it on. They came via Nettlebed as featured
in the lyrics... of The PRESSED MAN (from Living in a Promised Land').
After JDJ told us "my little
lad loves Mambo Number 5 … I wish we could play it but, as Matt would have
it we're too much of an old man band for that." As JDJ waffled Steve
is tuning his guitar, Jonesy eventually saying "work through the chords
Steve, but don't give them all away!" LOVE SONG NUMBER 5 was written
"for my family" and is, as the title says, a slow love song that
features a mellow solo from Steve. A joking addendum: "We've sold that
song to Eric Clapton and it'll be on his next album!"
is on the new album, we haven't talked enough about the new album … we
haven't set into the big pitch yet." That would come later but first a
little about the next track. "This is a song about my grandmother and Jo's
grandmother who between them had 153 sisters. That doesn't scan in the
song so we reduced it down to the nine most important ones. It's
called NINE SISTERS and we've never played as a band before." 5
of them had, but not all six.
After donning an acoustic
guitar being passed a pick John began a basic blues riff explaining "I
always wanted to be in a blues cover band because you earn a $@&k sight
money than we do" in a dig at the lack of money offered by the venue (?).
To prove the point of how easy making a blues tune up on the spot was he
ad-libbed a bit of blues with MONEY FOR OLD ROPE BLUES. "Ah, but
that's too easy" as he slipped into some REM lyrical excerpts before progressing
onto one of their own tunes, "a song from the first album." I think this
was the only Millennial reference the whole evening, "That was a long time
ago, it was last century."
WHEN THE LIGHTNING COMES
is a "'tribute to the roadie' song which I'll do in a classical style tonight."
He sang the first few lines in a cross between what I assume is his version
of a 'classical' vocal and a Vic Reeves pub singer style. Eventually it
moved into the song proper after the aforementioned roadies had cleared
the various intertwined guitar leads onstage. After a brief flirt with
some REM lyrics ("losing my religion") they moved into another tribute
song, SWEET HOME ALABAMA/SANTIAGO. As you may have gathered
there are more Chile and Pinochet references in this b@stardised version
of the Lynyrd Skynyrd track - the second half being the retitled version.
The audience joined in with the chorus before Steve takes led duties for
The piece almost returned
smoothly into the initial song but soon was waylaid by a chorus of YOU
CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT and almost The ACE OF SPADES
before finally returning to WHEN THE LIGHTNING COMES. The whole
band look impressed that everything was going well during finale of Lightning.
this guitar is still in tune its a miracle." SHED NO TEARS is introduced
as a track which is "a song off the 'All the Kings Men' album which will
be released again this year - with a different cover. No extra tracks though,
they'll come out on the compilation album … by "John DEXPLOITATION Jones!"
(During this track, nature
called. Replying to the call, and whilst in the gents, I overheard a conversation
along the following lines. "At an Anthrax gig the band were rapping (in
89) and ripping piss out of Jason Donovan." A comment was made as to how
"this band (Jump) shouldn’t be playing a venue like this, they’re too good."
I did wonder however, if they were that good why were these guys not standing
outside and listening to the music?)
A touch of keyboards and
drum beat moved things into a hint of Led Zeppelin, ROCK AND ROLL,
then BABY PLEASE DON'T GO (by Them ?) while the guitars took John
towards Paul Rogers and ALL RIGHT NOW. Jonesy lost the lyrical thread
during it but thankfully the crowd were in good voice and pulled him through
to the chorus. He then moved into a marginally less vague version of FEEL
LIKE MAKIN' LOVE before asking for "one more" so Pete returned to Zep
for a rather stuttering HEARTBREAKER. As Steve teased John and the
audience with a snippet of STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN John pushed a point
with "the reason we're doing this is that we hope to get paid more." They
"used to do 30 minutes of Zep covers when we only had 30 minutes of our
own material." All this eventually led into "the first song wot we wrote",
"a song about television", THE LIGHTBOX.
"This is a sexual song for
Matthew, it's called TONGUE TIED" followed before the 'hard sell'
"Some of you have been foolish
to buy our live album will know this song in its extended form. Those of
you equally foolish who buy our new album, Matthew, which goes on sale
for the first time exclusively tonight. You can buy it at a mere £12.50."
We were then threatened with JDJ "getting them out later" the new CD that
is before " this is a song from Mathew, featuring Matthew (he is the spoken
voice on the album version of this track) called The HIGHWAYMAN."
As usual this song has been kept to end the set and to feature the band
First, to get Andy F worried,
"Hugh Gasgoyne on the bass guitar - old ghosts gone " then "2- 2 with Cardiff.
The Wycombe Wanderer on the drums, Andy Barker, the baron."
Guitarists next, "on the
blue guitar, a man voted by Brave Hearts (a fanzine ?) as the next biggest
guitar player to Steve Rothery (take that as you will - size or skill)
A proper intro for the four
stringer next, "standing in for..." "no, that all over now, Mr Andy
Faulkner occupying the bass guitar."
"From Pontyprith in south
Wales, Pete Davis
JDJ introduced himself with
subtle (not) hint to roadies to get him a Coors "From myself John Dexter
Jones it's approaching 11 o'clock so get your last drinks in and, while
you're there, get me one."
The last time the guys played
Beethoven’s one local left demanding his money back is how JDJ began his
convoluted introduction to the return of Mo on keyboards. He stated "we
can do without Pete but can’t do without Mo. A warm welcome back to the
live format for the lady from Glasgow, Moon keyboards."
slipping off then back on stage here, just a quick advert for karaoke on
Thurs etc (to much silent mugging and miming from JDJ -head on 'pillowed'
hands to symbolise sleeping etc.).
"This is a song that was
written in the Racket Club. A song that features the talent of Mr la la
la America Peter Davies. (Pete had missed the previous Beethovens show
as he was in America on business) It's called KEEP THE BLUES."
A cheer form the audience
for "I come from the land of mountains" line - a fellow Welshman possibly
- while another cry for the following line "I come from the land of rain"
come from someone a bit less fussy obviously. John then asked us to "remember
when we were young" as a link into a brief section of SHINE ON YOU CRAZY
DIAMOND Part way through the track John spotted someone playing the
fruit machine and advised him on what to hold and what to change: "now
there's a compulsive look in your eye - should have hear a cherry instead"
to a punter on the bandit." A man of many (nefarious) talents.
"Thank you very much. I
won't fight my way through the throng. this is song from All the
Kings men but its not All the Kings Men. This is where you all get to exercise
your own vocal chords." and is dedicated to "everybody in Swansea", 2UP
Drinking time is almost
up but "we're going to squeeze another one in because we love Beethovens
so much." ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN was sung over intro riff to FREEBIRD which,
after a verse, merges into KNOCKIN' ON HEAVENS DOOR. "You've got to buy
the album now" but not quite yet as there's one more chorus of Knockin'
A brief "Thank you. Good
night." ends the set and. though the crowd calls for more, that was it
- another fun 2 hour show from Jump. All that's left now is the hard sell
of the new CD. "How much am I bid for this CD" asks Jones as he held up
the first copy of the latest release, It was soon snapped up as were several
dozen other copies before we were all ushered out of the venue.
(After the show the band
got their own back on JDJ and his sense of humour when I mentioned that
I though Matthew was John's son, wrong. Cue much ribbing that "he's old,
but not that old!")
the following tracks, most of which were played tonight.
IT'S YOUR LIFE (second in
MOSCOW CIRCUS (follows on
from the previous track in the set)
EVERYBODY STOP (first live
play tonight, again following the album order)
MATTHEW (title track and,
apart from one due on the next album, followed on in the same order as
THE HIGHWAYMAN (last track
of the main set - including a band introduction section)
ALONE AHEAD (not played)
NINE SISTERS (10th in the
set after a break for some older material)
TONGUE TIED (played as the
penultimate track of the main set)
PARADISE MISLAID (first
THE NEARLY ENDED WORLD (not