Live Reviews

Jesse James Live

Camden Underworld,

A message to promoters: when putting on a show, try to remember to actually promote it. London soul-punk septet Jesse James can usually pack out the Underworld, but there has been very little advertising for tonight’s show, and hence the venue is barely half full.

Granted, Angels & Airwaves are playing across the road at the Electric Ballroom, but there must be more punk-lovin’ folk out there who would rather see some quality homegrown bands over Tom Delonge’s vanity project.

Still, the bands don’t seem too bothered. Grown At Home get things kicked off with some entertaining, if unoriginal ska-core, but it’s Failsafe who really up the ante with some excellent melodic hardcore; resembling the best bits of Hot Water Music spliced with a few metal and reggae influences. Check out their debut album ‘What We Are Today’; your ears deserve a treat.

However, it’s Jesse James’ party, and from the moment they kick off with ‘Invincible‘, it’s clear that the London-based septet have never looked or sounded better. Maybe it’s the fact that the release of new album ‘The Assassination Of’ is imminent, or maybe it’s just the healthy avocado salad that lead vocalist/bassist Dko had for dinner, but there’s a real sense of self-assurance to the band tonight. New tunes like ‘Everything‘ and ‘Hooks‘ are up there with the best in brass-laden punk rock anthems, whilst old favourites ‘Black Sheep Generator’ and ‘First Day On A Brand New Planet’ would surely be rock club staples by now, if this lot were American.

Speaking of Americans Angels & Airwhat?

Alex Gosman