I don’t like to start any review by moaning about things outside the bands control but sometimes it can’t be helped and this gig was one of those occasions due to the venue not handling the swap over between the early and late gig they had on at all well. Also Camden Councils efforts to take all the fun out of going gigs in Camden, the Council now insist everyone shows photo ID to get into gigs and are fully frisked and searched which goes against the spirit of a legendary venue like Dingwalls where such things have never previously been necessary.
The confusion over what time the previous gig ended and this one that was part of the Cherry Cola club night started made things a bit chaotic and Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind went on at about 11.20 instead of 10.30 which was still about 2 hours earlier than headline acts went on when I first started going to Dingwalls in the 1980’s.
Since the gig my social media has been full of stories of people being refused entry or being thrown out for going into the wrong bar, disabled fans being told that Dingwalls had no chairs for them to sit on when they were stacked like they normally are behind the curtain by the gents toilets, In many respects this evening was a bit of a fiasco that somehow Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind brilliantly rose above.
The set opened with some good wailing feedback that led into Boil Your Blood that sort of served as the band’s sound check and as the song went on the soundman did a fine job of getting the levels right pretty quickly so that the barnstorming street preaching garage rock sound they have would sound as it should.
No Fool amped things up nicely and gave Gavin Jay and Mal Troon a first good chance to add some gang style backing vocals to help propel things along. They were already sounding a lot more powerful than the first time I saw them at the end of 2015.
Till It’s All Gone is as angry and bitter a break up song as you could wish for and the band amped up the musical paranoia and the near religious fervour of the wild preacher man singer that Jim Jones is the embodiment of let rip, this song has to be heard live in all its glory.
By this point the reasonably packed crowd was more than up for it and Heavy Lounge #1 kept driving home the power they were harnessing to make sure no one cared about the evenings hassles as it was hard to keep your eyes off the stage as they attacked the song with venom and a certain amount of glee.
Dream kept the pace up and appeared to be loved by some fans with air guitars just in front of us. Walk It Out has a great slightly paranoid feel to it that I think was the song that featured a real street gang approach to it.
They then played for me what is one of the bands central songs Something’s Gonna Get It’s Hands On You that starts with most of the band providing percussion and chants as it builds into a monster of a song about heartbreak and despair a real highlight.
Base Is Loaded sounded as close to the old Jim Jones Revue sound as they got and it sounded absolutely storming. There was no let up at all on Hold Up as they rammed home what a great live act they have become.
They then closed with Alpha Shit as the soundman had given them the times up signals and it brought a great set to a good close they got a great round of applause but weren’t allowed the encore they more than deserved.
Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind are a must see live if you get the chance as this year Jim Jones is splitting his time between them and the band I first saw him playing in way back when the usually incandescent Thee Hypnotics whose reunion tour will be well worth seeing.
This being a properly odd night the support act came on after the headliners so that after more than half the crowd had left Electric Child House came on to clear Dingwalls of anyone left in the venue as they were a truly terrible baggy band who think they sound like The Stone Roses or Happy Mondays but lack all of the key elements to make it so.
People started walking out from halfway through the first song as they failed to be anywhere near out of it or slovenly enough for the kind of slack music they attempted to play and by the time 4 songs in they slaughtered Tom Petty’s Running Down A Dream it became the moment that more than half of the people left had enough and walked and I was among them as they had failed to even get close to the tune or the song in general.
Live Review by Simon Phillips & Concert Photography by Simon Partington of Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind live at Dingwalls in Camden, London 2nd February 2018