After the break-up of The Jim Jones Revue Brudenell Social Club was packed out with fans eager to see if his latest outfit could reach the stellar heights of cult ultra-cool set by his previous back catalogue. The line-up closely resembles the former and the audience were certainly not disappointed as Jones & The Righteous Mind confidently hammered out a set of new material. Before the main event came a support slots from Leeds based X Ray Cat Trio and Mesmer Disciples.
The evening began with an impressive set from X Ray Cat Trio. Their unique brand of rockabilly punk had the crowd fired up from the very beginning. They are not just limited to rockabilly punk, there is plenty of psychedelia thrown in there too. The addition of a double bass, instead of a standard electric, at first seems out of place with their style but by the end of their set you wouldn’t have had it any other way.
It was then the turn of Mesmer Disciples to carry on the good work of X Ray Cat Trio. The local four-piece describe themselves as both “menacing” and “unhinged” in their bio, and this proved to be a perfect description. Musically they are moody, psychedelic, and quite gritty with tracks building in layers creating a truly menacing atmosphere. The unhinged part comes from the vocal section, they don’t seem to quite marry as well with the instrumentation as perhaps you might want them to. They seem erratic and not as cultured as the music, I feel that both elements of each track work well separately but somehow together they didn’t quite sit right with me. The audience didn’t seem to mind this at all however, as Mesmer Disciples got warm applause as their set concluded.
Jim Jones and The Righteous Mind then arrived to play their debut album, in this current formation, “Super Natural”, with a few B-sides thrown in too. From the first few bars of opening track “Boil Your Blood” the set, and especially Jim Jones himself, mesmerized and were truly gripping. Everything about their set, but the guitar riffs in particular, has the air of being effortlessly cool. Each track is designed to entice you in to its atmospheric tones before building towards a final payoff. It felt like an honour to be in the presence of such incredibly talented musicians, keyboard player Matt Millership impressed the most with some genuinely stunning keys solos and moments of real flair.
The star of the show was always going to be Jim Jones himself as he encompassed everything you would expect from a great front man. He oozed confidence as he swaggered around the stage, but it never felt like he had crossed the line into arrogance. At times his movements and persona were similar to those of Nick Cave when Cave is in full sexy beast mode. He kept giving political statements, repeatedly proclaiming “Fuck the fascists”, and going into quite a long political rant before their closing track “Alphashit”. At this point they were a decent way into a lengthy run of shows but his energy levels, and more importantly his vocal levels, never dropped. His rasping angst-ridden voice was constantly on top form proving to add levels of inspiration and invigoration to the experience you get from each track. At times his vocal style sounds similar to that of the comedian Nick Helm, but there is no danger of you taking Jim Jones and The Righteous Mind anything other than deadly seriously as musicians.