Well, I now have my first Jump gig of the year under my belt. The trip to Aylesbury from Reading took ages as usual, almost an hour and a half for what is only around 45 miles. The route we took, via Benson, is far twistier (and tight twists at that) than the route we normally take and so we'd had a rollercoaster ride before we made it to the venue. We were a little later in leaving than I'd hoped so I was pushing it a bit in case the music began early. (We managed the return leg in just an hour with no traffic on the roads.)
We arrived about ten to eight assuming the band were likely to be on at 8pm as last time they had a 20 minute break mid set. This wasn't the case and after the adrenaline pumping drive we just sat around for 45 minutes before getting into the hall and then another ten minutes before the music began. I needn't have rushed my tea after all.
Anyway, you are probably more interested in what music they played and to be honest so was I. With only a few shows to be played in the first half of the year (this was just the second), though in more prestigous venues than dumps like the Roebuck Tavern, and being advertised on the Jump website as "and crucially we are going t make each one an absolutely singular event" and "the exhumation of tracks performed less than a handful of times and possibly a couple never previously performed".
Well, don't get too excited by the hype folks. The 2/3 full sloped seating area were given just one track new to me in the live situation - though one I've played on CD many times - but absolutely nothing new from the supposed 60 minutes of material they have for the new CD already. I guess the idea is to do something a little different this time and not play most of the album live before releasing it. I know it took me a few listens of 'On Impulse' to actually enjoy it. Initially I felt it lacked the energy of the live versions. In fact I hadn't played it at all for over three months until a week or so before this show and it was only during that time it began to ' make sense' to me.
Basically what we got was most of the songs they've had in the set for the last year or two but, as is normal, in a different order. If you've not seen Jump often but heard the albums then you'll probably love the show. On the other hand if, like me, you've seen them what seems to be getting to be too many times in too short a period you may feel like you've been here before. I can't explain why I feel that way as during the drive I was really looking forward to the show. Somewhere between the car and the start of the set some sort of depression set in. All very strange. I've lost interest in other bands before, Deep Purple for one, and have rekindled the flame so there is still hope.
The lights faded around quarter to nine and a minute or so later the band ambled onstage from the depths of black curtainage that surrounded the stage (floor actually) area. The band were mainly dressed in black with the exception of Mo in schoolgirl (or policewoman as Jonesy commented) attire and the main man himself in a rather garish collection of holiday and knock-off camouflage combat gear. For once John Dexter Jones kept his mouth shut, the only words spoken coming from Andy Barker being the count of "1,2,2,3, 2,2,2,3" into set opener BLIND BIRDS. It has rarely been used first in the set (last time was September 2001) but was played just last November in Reading. Despite being a theatre the lighting was set at a pretty low level except on singer thus making it difficult to get any decent photos without resortuing to the flash. I guess my flsah spoilt the show for others but at least you can enjoy the results here.
A throbbing bassy riff care of Andy Faulkner led directly into the more rocky MOSCOW CIRCUS, a common set opener itself. The only intervening contact with the audience was Jonsey putting his hand to his ear as if the audience cheers were not loud enough. Not surprising as the place is only about 2/3 full, much less than last time. The gap of around ten feet between the first row of seats and band doesn't help.
"This is a song from an earlier album the name of which escapes me. DREAMING OF ANGELS" (1998's "Living in a Promised Land" and not played as far as I know since Lacey Green in March 2000). However a shout of "Wait" from Andy Barker who'd sporret Pete wasn't quite ready meant Jonesy could get something off his chest. "Don't set the fire to the place." which seemed aimed at the youths sitting near the rear and who I thought earlier were in for a musical surprise as Jump seemed miles from the Green Day they proclaimed a love for on their hooded sweatshirts. Still, it was good to see younger faces at a Jump gig. " With Pete still not ready the talk continued to a,ble around the basis of the next track "a song about the people ... who have a predilection .... (for) child pornography on their computers BRAVE NEW WORLD". From something recent right back to the first album 'The Winds of Change' and a question. "Does anybody remember laughter?" I think he's getting his songs mixed up eith the Zeppelin collection there. However he continued by explaining "This is a song from a long, long, long, long (that'll be a while then John?) time ago, DON'T LET THEM TELL YOU (THAT YOU'RE OLD)." By the time he got that out I certainly felt older but it was the first time I'd heard this song live and I believe the first time Andy Faulkner had played it judging by the comment afterwards "Mr Andy Faulkner making his debut in that song." I guess Andy being the new boy (still, after 3 years) is the limit to the oldies Jump can play. Still, with minimal notice he usually manages quite admirably and tonight was no exception though I'm sure I remember Andy B giving some direction.
The first of several references to the previous evenings gig came next after a warning that "there's no break tonight".
But that's it for now. tune in tomorrow for details of where that gig was...
Highlights: 'Don't Let Them Tell You That You're Old' which was the only song in the set I'd not heard live before. Also Pete's solo in KtB - even if he did completely forget where he'd got to at the end, just smiling and walking to the back of the stage as if to walk off in disgust with himself.
Finally, the special guest plucked from the crowd to don the acoustic guitar for 'Knocking On Heaven's Door'. It is rare that Jonesy manages to get someone up but I think he knew this boy beforejudging by what he said at the end of the set, "There were two reasons I asked Julian up. The first is that he always gets up to play and the second is that he's called Jones!". .
Jonesy going over the same old ground as for the last 3 years most
of the time. Do we really care what he thinks of manufactured pop
start - just be happy in the knowledge that they will be gone soon
enough rather than boring us with jibes about them. It used to be
funny but now it just bores the pants off me. Oh, and I needed those
pants as extra padding as the seats were nowhere near as comfy as
JDJ would make out. On that experience I'm not sure if I want to travel
the 400 mile round trip to Rotherham for what I expected to be the
next gig. However, another more local one has been slipped in on 17
April at TJ O'Reilly's in Marlow Bottom. This clashes with at least
one other gig I had planned to see (Ken Hensley in London) so we'll
see how I feel nearer the time. I guess I suffered the same feeling
at the first few shows on the last tour
so maybe all will be well next time. I hope so. Anyway, I'm sure the
others at the show will all jump in and say it was brilliant so just
ignore me. Doug .)