LIVE REVIEW: Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind @ Oslo, London

Tonight we hit a dingy, scuzzy, upstairs bar in Hackney by the glorious name of “Oslo”. Why it has this name is not something that concerns me but it seems out of place for a dirty and depressing London boozer that has played host to some dirty and depressing bands.

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Tonight though we find the latest incarnation of Jim Jones, a man whose ‘Revue’ met with unparalleled adoration, unmatched fanaticism, and unblanched devotion.

In ‘The Righteous Mind’ we find a venue-similar level of grind and scuzz to suit the most passionate fan of true blues, and a depth and resonance that while expected, still doesn’t fail to cause the unprepared bystander to take a step back and emit an involuntary grunt. Tonight’s informed audience though seems prepared for this aggressive emotion and for this staggeringly pulsating performance, and keeps its distance.

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On arriving onstage, the inestimable Mr. Jones invites us all to take a few steps closer to the front, huddled as we are just a few paces away, afraid our reflexes might let us down if the onslaught is too sudden, too fast, too violent and too unexpected but… well, we stood back for a bloody good reason.

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While the entire catalogue of this band is something we will just have to wait to become familiar with, we are invited to sing along with “just three words”, a few songs into the set, as ‘Boil Yer Blood’ makes an earlier than expected appearance and begins/recreates/mesmerises/satiates.

This ain’t rock and roll, this is genocide.

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We die with this, we long to live for it and we desperately cling on to it, vainly hoping that it will sustain us for just a few minutes more; keep us believing, and keep us strong. We know it won’t last forever but while it does we give thanks that Jim Jones is a true original; an unequalled ascension amongst the blues/rock/grunting greats and, just for a moment, we care not that our years are advancing. Tonight we die, and we give thanks for the opportunity.