Review by Ali Lewsley, Photos by Laura Patterson
There are people who say that music is a kind of therapy. If that’s true, then Dale Barclay, singer with The Amazing Snakeheads must be working his way through some very heavy baggage. He’s got the expression of a typical pub psycho half way between a grimace and a grin. There’s more than a hint of Guy Kyser from Thin White Rope about his vocal delivery and guitar style. At last a Paisley underground band who actually sound like they’re from Paisley!
Fresh from its plug on Soccer AM, Testifying Time, the band’s first single gets a reaction from the crowd. Barclay’s rictus and the lack of any interaction with the crowd mean that a lot of their set is met with polite applause from the Jim Jones crowd. It’s difficult to work out if it’s indifference or confusion as clearly the Amazing Snakeheads are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I doubt Dale Barclay cares. He clearly didn’t set out to be in anyone’s second favourite band and people will either love or loathe them.
I imagine Jim Jones sitting at home with his feet up, enjoying a cup of tea and Countdown of an afternoon surrounded by music. Not CDs or God forbid MP3 players but stacks of beautiful black vinyl. Nothing much newer than Lysergic Emanations by the Fuzztones, plenty of Stooges, MC5 The Seeds and The Sonics, The Clash and The Ramones. In my imagination, just behind the teapot and the rich tea biscuits there is an enormous stack of dusty old Rock and Roll 7” singles from the great labels, Sun, Charly, Okeh and Chess. All of them lovingly arranged alphabetically and worn all but flat by time. Jim Jones’ music is by the numbers all of it 3 chords and 12 bars, and it’s great.
Lux Interior may have met something evil pretending to be Elvis Presley’s ghost on his long lonely night at the crossroads; Jim Jones on the other hand could only have met the shade of Little Richard. Even when he’s kneeling at the front of the stage testifying, one hand raised in the air his whoops and wows are straight out of Little Richard’s playbook.
The Jim Jones Revue are touring on the back of their third full length album. The set splits roughly in two with the first part being mostly tracks of 2012’s The Savage Heart. The start stop, breaking on a sixpence openers of Mind Field and Premeditated, from 2010’s Burning Your House Down are spoiled by a murky sound and unwanted squeals of feedback. Sadly the murky sound gets no better as the gig goes on despite running repairs being carried out on the singer’s mic. About 10 songs into the gig Jones & Co break for a couple of minutes. When they come back Jones introduces the Jukebox, leaving it up to the audience to shout out tracks from their eponymous debut album, B side rarities and other odds and sods. It’s a fast and rough sounding skip through a bunch of real crowd pleasers including Fish 2 Fry, Meat Man and the brilliant Shoot First.
See more of Laura’s photos here;