GENE LOVES JEZEBEL + SCARE TAXI – THE PRINCE ALBERT, BRIGHTON 24.4.22
Jay Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel
Gene Loves Jezebel are a British rock band formed in the early 1980s by identical twin brothers Jay (born John) and Michael Aston. Gene Loves Jezebel’s best-known songs include ‘Heartache’, ‘Desire (Come And Get It)’ (1986), ‘The Motion Of Love’ (1987), ‘Jealous’ (1990) and ‘Break The Chain’ (1993), as well as alternative club hits ‘Bruises’ (1983), ‘Influenza (Relapse)’ (1984) and ‘The Cow’ (1985). ‘The Motion of Love’ was the band’s most successful UK single.
The name of the band is a reference to rock musician Gene Vincent and his song ‘Jezebel’.
As the result of a rift between the Aston brothers in 1997 and ongoing legal issues, there were two incarnations of the band.
After a fun rock out opening set by local outfit Scare Taxi, the band took to The Prince Albert stage, fired up their 80’s rock foot stomping hit Twenty Killer Hurts, this was followed up quickly with Sweet Rain.
Tonight, saw the continuation of the 40th anniversary tour aligned with the release of their first single. The gig had been rescheduled, venues switched, but at last the boys were here in town and were clearly ready to play!
The guys were in top form throughout, frontman Jay Aston interjecting humorous quips in-between songs and some wonderful in-band banter. It all came together to provide a most entertaining evening and definitely helped to smile on everyone’s faces.
‘How Do You Say Goodbye (To Someone You Love)‘ was a slightly gentler track from the night and had the crowd joining in. This song was from their latest musical release ‘Dance Under Water’ back in 2017.
Jay was on top form with his vocals and guitar slots. He is exciting to watch as he would from time to time almost break into a mini mime routine. His performance was articulated with lyrics but also with lots of gestures with his hands. A captivating performance. The bass from Peter Rizzo thudded beautifully and tied in with the drums at the back played by I think I recognised as Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard from the recent The Alarm gig. Stunning powerful sound produced by the bass and drums.
World Gone Crazy‘ was led with Aston on guitar pulling off the wicked riffs and the vocals and the “huh’s” a plenty. This was one of the set highlights for me as the bass lines were stunning as the band then piled back in with Astons vocal work and searing guitars.
I remember back in the day the band had a real early Simple Minds/Echo and The Bunnymen sound to quite a lot of their output. The basic sounds are still there tonight, but all of the songs sounded new, fresh and full of vitality. A brilliant job bringing those songs to us tonight.
Some of you may not have heard these guys play live, well they are on tour and here is a chance to see and hear what all the fuss was about. And just how good they sound! James Stevenson on guitars is outstanding as well as creative with what he had with him. Peter Rizzo bass tabs along with Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard on drums create an extraordinarily perfect rhythm…and (last but not least) Astons vocals, lyrics and guitars bring this whole show and line up together. In my opinion it’s an astounding musical balance and a delight to see play live. The powerful ‘Bruises‘ was in there and Jays guitars opened up ‘Break The Chain’. Jay shouting “Do It Do It” leading into a great guitar break. Both songs were delivered with perfection by Aston and the band.
On guitar was James Stevenson, a brilliant musician who I had the chance to see play with The Alarm. Always on point even though he did seem to be having some tech issues from time to time. This band nailed it down tight. Sadly I understand their van which housed some of their equipment was stolen and the unknown borrowed equipment may have contributed to that. I hope the thieves get caught and the equipment is found.
At this point congrats to the guy on the desk are well due The sound was clear and punchy set at a great volume and yes, the lights were utilised! No single red wash tonight and even a strobe effect was used. Well done fella!
The band started to close down their set with two punchy numbers from the 80’s hits we had the awesome ‘The Motion Of Love‘ and ‘Stephen’. ‘The Motion Of Love‘ allowed the crowd to join in with the band with the chorus. What a damn fine tune that is. Both tracks are a joy to hear live and both still wrapped in that je ne sais quoi that is the Gene Loves Jezebel magic. There is a little bit of everything in this set.
I am pretty sure that we were all swinging from the mirror ball hanging off the ceiling, or at the very least bopping the night away on the bouncing floor at The Prince Albert by the time they had approached the end of the set.
Last song of the night was ‘Desire (Come and Get It)’ and it grabbed everyone’s attention and a small, but lively, mosh section opened up. Gene Loves Jezebel delivered a wonderful balanced set of old and new, slow and rock. A winning combination enjoyed by everyone packed into The Prince Albert tonight. Just a damn good gig.
I can say, hand on heart that you get a face full of ‘High Action/Full Octane’ from the get-go from Scare Taxi. They do not hang about.
Scare Taxi was a joy to watch as they settled into their guest/support slot. I have been fortunate to see these guys a few times in and around Brighton and they get under my skin a little bit more every time I see them.
Tara was on stage first and she seemed genuinely surprised with the cheer she got as she strapped on her bass. It was a lovely, genuine reaction to see. Alex Boag got himself through the crowd and onto the stage, a quick tune up and we were off, ‘If It Bothers You‘ was up first.
Mr Boag was clearly in charge tonight for the gig. He jumps, spins whilst powering out those delicious riffs and vocals. The “rhythm” and vocals were from Tara, no drummer tonight, only a pedal to turn on a drum pattern. So the occupied drum kit was no more, maybe having your drummer transformed into a pedal loop is the only way to keep up the pace from these two!
This layout meant Boag got to be the focal point for the group being almost centre stage. A packed crowd displayed a sense of appreciation and admiration for Scare Taxi. They really are a most satisfying band to see live. Catch them doing ‘Sisters/Brothers’ or maybe ‘El Lobo Solitario‘ live and you will see what I mean.
Tara Harley is working out plenty of bass punch lines from her huge bass. It’s loud and balls to the wall gutsy stuff. She and Boag alternate lead vocals throughout the set. When Tara takes over it leaves Alex free to pull off some audaciously fab rock poses and struts. When he hits it, stand well back.
Scare Taxi kicked off tonight’s proceedings with a set of really catchy songs that always sound new and different. They have a great selection of tunes and they always mix it up. It’s always a different show from these guys. I can’t really “typecast” what they do, as the style changes in the blink of an eye and they then drop a genre change into the mix. ‘Gimmee Sensation’ shows these guys have plenty of power and energy under the bonnet of the Scare Taxi.
‘Personality Junkyard’ is tidied away and I realised how damn cool they looked. They looked as if they had really taken their time and dressed up for us.
Scare Taxi had done a great job in warming up the crowd and no doubt picked up a few more fans.
The set picked up in power and tempo as they headed to the last song Senseless. Tara and Boag always promise guitars, bass energy, cool fine threads and big hair. I can confirm they ticked all those boxes. They just looked and sounded great. They gave us forty minutes of raucous tracks full of riffs and spirit.
Both bands were strong, and the sounds were unforgettable.
More on Scare Taxi HERE.
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