London Astoria 2
27 September 2000
Sharp on seven thirty the band tramped onstage, donned instruments and, with only a brief "I shouldn't waste any more of my own precious time" from vocalist John Dexter Jones (JDJ), launched into set opener MOSCOW CIRCUS. As well as being quieter than normal, John Dexter Jones was somewhat better dressed too, wearing a black buttoned up jacket and black shades. He certainly seemed more restrained than normal during the rocky opener, perhaps hiding his nerves of this important performance behind those dark glasses. The most surprising part of his attire, however, was the Welsh flag used to tie his hair back. I'm sure that will stick in peoples minds for a while. 
John may have seemed a touch restrained but his sense of mischief was in evidence part way through the this track as he purposefully stood in front of Mo, hiding both her and the keyboards, until she peeked out from behind him.
The initially small (it was an early start with only those in the know here in time for the whole set) but enthusiastic audience made plenty of noise. The numbers soon swelled as people managed to reach the venue throught the crowds of Londoners all travelling the opposite way.

The chat was kept rapid and fairly short (considering the usual Jones verbosity) to conserve time for the music. "Evening, it's nice to be back in London" swiftly being followed by mention of Jump being "the last band of this ilk to play" the venue and then the intro to the second track as "This is the song of the American B movie, Brad Pitt's early career. This is LIKE A DRUM". The tightly buttoned jacket and dark glasses remained on for this number.

"It was strange but during the quiet parts of that song I could hear murmuring." Commented JDJ about the burble of chatter in the background before continuing with: "This is a song for Alastair Campbell or any of those top politicians that are probably in tonight asking how people feel and really taking the pulse of the country. Its called DR SPIN." Another rocky number to get the audience going.

"The next song is on the live album" "hey, we sold 3 CDs before we came onstage. It's going to be a record night tonight, 'cos that'll be three!" (laughs from the audience)
"There's a few in" noted John as he removed his shades. He also commented on his jacket and that it was purchased from a charity shop in Aylesbury. "probably the same place Steve Hogarth gets his"
He swiftly added, "Oh, he's in?" before moving straight into the introduction to ALONE AHEAD. This is a mellower track though it does power up for the choruses.

"We've come from leafy Buckinghamshire where the headlines in the local papers are 'Jump to it'". He went on to explain that they regret naming the band because it is "something the local news writers can have a field day". The tale moved on to the previous weeks show in Swindon where the hall "was a tenth the size of this with a PA four times the size and an engineer who's very, very very, willing to turn it up very, very loud."
Finally he made it to actually introducing "a song about a man who had no choice what he did a farmers son pressed into service in the English Civil War."  As the intro dragged on (JDJ having forgotten his initial quote) Pete Davies played a note on his guitar, "the note I have to start the song". JDJ took the hint and asked him to repeat it and begin THE PRESSED MAN.

After removing his jacket off to reveal a Batman T-shirt, JDJ explained the next song was described in a 1991 Kerrang! Review as sounding like  "Bruce Springsteen's oil stained overalls in the washbasket". The song, off their first album, is THE FREEDOM TRAIN He added that "if you're very brave" while making clapping motions! A few of the failthful down the front were brave though those further back managed to restrain themselves.  This track is a quiet, almost acoustic song, which second guitarist Steve Hayes moved over to acoustic guitar while Mo joined in on tambourine.

"JDJ checked how the time was going with Mo before taking the acoustic off Steve, borrowing a pick from Pete and talking a little about reviewers and Time Out magazine.
As if it's not enough that we're not going to play any Prog Rock we're going to play a country track!" Indeed, LOVE SONG # 5 is certainly a laid-back number in which JDJ compares himself to beer! Unbelievable?  You'll have to either catch the band live or wait until the next CD to find out what I'm talking about.
During the applause JDJ commented that "if Eric Clapton had done it, it would have been alright". A good point and well noted by the non-clap rear folk judging by the laughter generated.

Time for a change of tack though, "This is a song bout sex. TONGUE TIED". The pace is picked up once again with this track.  Between verses JDJ loosens top section of mike stand letting it drop, a trick he began a gig or two ago. A strange habit but there you go.  Vocalists, they just have to be the centre of attention. ;-)

"This is a song about a pinball machine in Milton Keynes." He made some mention of the songs getting "more senseless" before going on to explain that "if you're from where I am you just get a big pair of wellies." I'll leave the rest of the introduction to your imagination! Thankfully the tack was changed back to music with "This is a song called JUDGEMENT DAY a heavy metal riff song." Heavier than most of the set this far the twin guitars of Pete and Steve riffed their way through the track before JDJ led it off into Led Zeppelin territory with "talk(ing) about love". It's reached the band introductions time and first up us the turn of:
band intro as JDJ dons jacket
- Andy Faulkner  "full of cold, just moved house" (the cold would explain how restrained the bass playing had been)
- Mo "from Glasgow, the obligatory Scottish member in the band"
- "from Maidstone in Kent, on the brown guitar, Mr Steve Hayes"
- "Andy Barker on the drums"
- "someone has to come from South Wales, you're going to have to pay 17.5 % more to get in. Mr Peter Davies on the red guitar"
and finally, the man himself  "thanking us for coming early" before adding "my name is John Dexter Jones. Thank you for indulging my fantasy to be a rock star in London today."

Time was growing short now and just time for a subtle merchandise plug with "in the provinces I normally hold up a merchandise board."  A quick jab at a Fish fan who made some email comments after Jump supported Fish in Haddington "wrote on the internet that we ruined Shine On You Crazy Diamond." Before asking us to "See what you think" as they kicked into KEEP THE BLUES.

Before the blues moved into SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND John queried "Ready?  Mouses at the ready" as he made mouse moving motions with his free hand. We didn't get much of the track though as time was short and they kicked back into the blues as Led Zeppelin were mentioned again. This time we were informed that it's "twenty years since John Bonham died."  Towards the end of the song John donned dark glasses again then
unfurled the flag from his hair and held it up towards the audience.  One wag shouted "sheep" to it but I wonder if he was talking about the earlier "wellies" comment or if thought they'd kicked into another Pink Floyd track!

And that was it.  Almost exactly an hour of Jump in the centre of London.  I'm sure a lot of people had their ears opened to another great band during that hour and let's hope the bought some CDs on their way out!


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This page was first created on 28 September 2000. Last updated 30 Jan 2001.