The Jump website gave the game away, "FAULKNERS FIFTY!!!! So now we know why the Hairbear is prematurely grey...he clocks up the milestone of gig number fifty with JUMP at Beethoven's on March 3rd. OK, a bit of a way to go to catch up with the rest of the band (what is it, seven or eight hundred now? We're losing track!) but a momentous occasion none the less." Would it be something special. We would just have to go along and find out.
It was almost exactly a year previously that the last Jump album, Matthew, went on sale for the first time at this very venue. No new album tonight but quite a lot of tasters from it. The rest of this review is a post I made to the Jump yahoo group a day or two after the show. I hope to expand it at some point in the future.
The first Jump show of the year and it is a little shorter than normal for the venue - just under two hours. This may be to do with the 'new management' of course - they seemed keen to throw everybody out asap after the music finished.
The set began with a couple of new numbers from the forthcoming album, THOMS NEW CLOTHES (chosen as opener to explain the bright shirts worn by Jones, Davies and Faulkner possibly) and BRAVE NEW WORLD - about the dangers of computers and "sh!t Dutch websites". "Onto safer ground" with MOSCOW CIRCUS, the rockiest track so far. Comment then turned to the C4 programme 'Top Ten of Prog' (which was showing between 10 and 11.30) before the Dutch site cropped up again. Can I detect a theme here?
ALONE AHEAD proceeded another new song, BETHESDA about a Northern Welsh town and The Dexter Jones grandfathers. KEEP THE BLUES was promoted to mid set before a first at a Jump gig, "Pete Davies playing an acoustic guitar" on RUNAWAY. A power ballad next - and another new track - RISE followed by yet another new one, RIGHT WINGER. An anti-Nazi song in a country style. A clash of styles? Not really and I liked the chorus. Another from the forthcoming album, LIKE A DRUM, followed but it is 'old' by comparison as Jump played it at a lot of shows last Autumn. It is far and away the rockiest of the material from the next album.
A short BLUES JAM then moved "seamlessly" into JOHNNY and the LIGHTNING in which we were promised that "Pete Davies will now run the whole gamut of prog rock". Not quite but the old fave 'southern' classic did follow, SWEET HOME ALABAMA. Rocking things up towards the end were 2 UP 2 DOWN and, to celebrate the 50th live show for Andy Faulkner, SHED NO TEARS to which JDJ managed to slip a sly topical reference into the lyrics, "foot and mouth beneath your feet". USED TO THE TASTE moved through a jazzy HOUND DOG to a rocking PARANOID and set closer TONGUE TIED.
Only one track for an encore tonight, my favourite, The HIGHWAYMAN.
Excellent fun, as always, but the more mellow tracks for the new album were a surprise - especially having expected more along the lines of Like a Drum. Never mind though as the new tracks certainly have potential and should expand the potential Jump audience. All they need now is for the radio to pick up on a few tracks. We can but hope, Roll on Stokenchurch in 2 weeks time.
See you there,
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