Five go mad at the Lexington by Nic Howden
Opening with Boil Yer Blood, Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind do exactly that for their audience at the Lexington.
The 200-capacity room is the perfect place to see a band everyone is throwing ecstatic adjectives at on social media.
The house DJ, who looks, and plays, like a pub rock fan, which is no bad thing, beckons the band on with Johnny Thunders’ Born to Lose and the packed floor doesn’t stop responding for the next 75 minutes.
Ripping through debut album Super Natural’s tales of desire, lust and betrayal, it’s like Jerry Lee going nose to nose with the Cramps and the Birthday Party with Elvis at the bar and Absinthe in the optics.
From the tips of his bound to be blue suede shoes to the top of his considerable hair, Jim Jones is rock ‘n’ roll. His voice, straight out of the rasping, roaring 1950s, sits on top of Mal Troon’s pedal steel/second guitar, Phil Martini’s drums, Matt Millership on telling keys and long-term compadre Gavin Jay who comes with contemporised Simonon -style bass swagger.
The small Lexington stage shouldn’t allow for much movement among five players but Jones and Jay don’t stop, which whips up the crowd further still. They’re all ages too. You don’t need to know your music history to enjoy Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind; theirs is clearly a fabulous first lesson.
The lighting is very dim on the stage, more oversight than design, proved when the switch is finally flicked to ‘on’ late in the set, but it adds to the atmosphere as Jones switches to a haunting croon for Shallow Grave. It’s a full-bore show otherwise though, nine tenths of Super Natural embellished with big B-sides like Hold Up from the Boil Yer Blood EP and storming closer Alpha Shit, the flip of second single Aldecide.
Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind are there for the music and the madness as much as everyone clapping their hands between songs. ‘Say yeah’, Jones calls out intermittently, waving his mic over the front rows, and a big ‘yeah!’ comes right back.
The front man’s political manifesto gets a similar reaction. It’s something the whole room would sign up to in the beat of Martini’s bass drum.
“Fuck the fascists, fuck the bigots, fuck the racists, fuck the Tories.”
Music is about taste not competition, but Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind are the most exciting live band on the boards right now. Do yourself a favour and bag a ticket wherever they’re playing and spin Super Natural in the meantime.