The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Rosemount Hotel [Review] (PRESS, AUSTRALIA)

18 January 2011
NOTES: posted a review and photo gallery from The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion show at Rosemount Hotel, Perth on 13 January 2011.
The Rosemount Hotel is a loud, floorboard shaking venue and Felicity Groom & The Black Black Smoke took full advantage of it. She may be wearing a cute vintage dress and knee high socks, but Groom is anything but meek. With her band backing her strong and dynamic vocals nothing could stop this woman from commanding the room. Performing with a borrowed guitar from Jon Spencer himself, Groom delivers a brilliant handful of vulnerable and yet powerful folk rock songs.

Although Groom’s stage dance doesn’t add much to her performance, bassist Vanessa Thornton (Jebediah) sure does. Watching Thornton dance around was hypnotic and almost impossible to take your eyes off, she rocked on her feet and swiveled back and forth making it look like she was about to bust out a skateboard trick.

But no one could forget what the night was all about; especially with Jon Spencer bellowing “BLUES EXPLOSION!” before every song, after every song and not to mention the large number of rockabilly songs where The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion have incorporated their name into the lyrics.

JSBX played a very lucid set, one hit after another blending together like a smoothie. It was filthy and delectable with profanities flying in every direction till the meaning was lost. Blues-rock fans gathered round the stage, some happily throwing around their heads and stamping their feet to anthems like Fuck Shit Up, I Wanna Make It Alright, Blues Explosion Attack, Sweat and Afro; while others took a more extreme approach to dancing as if to wake the dead (and put fear into the people around them). One punter got so excited he threw a near full cup in the air, spraying the people behind him with beer.

Spencer was having a grand time rocking out, and sticking it to the man. He said: “Fuck the man! I gotta get that thing right now! Hope and love and fuck!” The fans loved it and howled for more but JSBX abruptly walked off the stage with 20 minutes left of their set. The fans didn’t stray, they chanted for more.

Coming back for an encore, Spencer made some small talk with that too cool, New York accent to “the cute lil” couple in the front before playing the last of their set. A wild Help These Blues and Bellbottoms had punters completely losing their inhibitions so they could leave smelling like sweat, beer and satisfaction.

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