Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion


Since their inception in 1991, New York based Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (or JSBX as their moniker is often shortened) have long since dispensed with traditional set lists. They are touring the 2012 release Meat and Bone, their first studio album since Damage in 2004.  JSBX’s  high energy punk blues, firmly rooted in rock ‘n’ roll, has had something of a revival in the last couple of years, The Computers, being one facsimile of some of the elements of JSBX. They are nowhere near them in terms of the  effortless way they seem to lock into a groove and go off at musical tangents returning to the point of entry somewhere later in the set.

As they hit the stage, is doesn’t look like they have aged at all, Jon Spencer and Judah Bauer are still stick thin, and man mountain Russell Simins dwarfs his minimal drum kit. ‘Dang’ features some deranged harmonica from Judah Bauer whilst Jon Spencer abuses his theremin  atop his amp, meanwhile Simins attempts to pound his drum kit into matchwood.  ‘Black Mold’ is the killer stand out track from Meat and Bone and it’s a furious blues thumper, but despite this Bauer doesn’t even break a sweat. By the time they have thrown in ‘2 Kindsa Love’, Simins has succeeded in pummeling his kit into oblivion, and his cymbal falls apart. During this technical interlude Spencer good naturedly berates someone for asking for ‘2 Kindsa Love ‘after they had already played it, “you need to pay more attention, honey”.

As they lock into the classic ‘Bellbottoms’ and ‘Afro’, the energy is coursing through the band and soon everyone  in the room is jigging about  like a chicken on a hot plate. Jon Spencer has honed the James Brown style call and response showmanship and knows how to get a crowd going.  2014 seems to be the year for long overdue returns, Rocket From the Crypt, Girls Against Boys and now JSBX. It’s about time!

Remember, “The Blues Explosion is No 1 , Baby!”

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Hello Robbo here, DJ at T.R.A.S.H Your Life at the Dog and Partridge in Bolton, and occasionally at Retro Bar in Manchester. Garage, punk, 60s, kitsch, library tunes, all the good stuff.. Labels: InTheRed, Goner, Swami, Sympathy, Estrus, AMREP, Domino, Touch & Go, Dischord, Rough Trade. Shops: Beatin Rhythmn, Vinyl Exchange, Fopp, Charity, Vintage.