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DAVE JACKSON BAND
100 Club, London, 8 February 2012
Dave Jackson is a cool dude. A former New Orleans based pianist turned
Born again blues man', he's a guitarist who knows the value of
dynamics, the potency of a sustained note and the effectiveness of a
long mane of jet black hair, a black choker and a tendency like Lemmy to
set his mic slightly above his natural singing level, he cuts an image
of an early 70's guitar hero.
trio, the Dave Jackson band is one part Kossoff and one part Rodgers.
They jam like Cream and sometimes venture into a space rock wall of
sound reminiscent early Hawkwind. Dave's vocals shift from the brusque
to the soulful as the arrangement dictates, in a groove laden, laid back
approach that disguises a razor sharp musical edge.
Armed with a
busy gig sheet, a repeat booking at the Colne Festval and a self titled
debut album, this was the band's first 100 Club headline show and they
wasted little time in slipping into a steam roller boogie Done Me
Wrong', which originated in New Orleans but was transformed by a
hypnotic riff and a relentless bass line into powerful drone that
carried all along in its wake.
And as if
confirming the early 70's feel, the lyrics were all about well worn
blues themes with stories of a no good woman', drink and inevitably the
devil, as on the devil stole my woman now she don't need what I got'.
disarming smile and understated introductions made light of his tales of
one night stands and the perpetual travelling blues man. Typically he
sang one or two verses before leaning into the groove and firing off a
locker full of riffs.
Cabaret - another Crescent City tale - worked particularly well with
it's strident Skynyrd style intro and extended familiar themes over some
incendiary band interplay; Another town, another bar, where no one asks
who you are'.
The bone crunching rocker Ain't Lookin' proved to be a template for the
evening, with Dave's repeated exclamatory vocal phrases hovering over
the inspired jamming between his guitar and the astonishing free form
bass playing of his partner Jan. She may answer to the name Janet
Jackson but her bass playing enjoys the heavy blues styling of Andy
Fraser, the front line presence of Leo Lyons and spontaneity of Jack
bang in between the two is the rock solid figure of Reg Patten, a
drummer given to occasional Mitch Mitchell style flurries, without once
offering the slightest suggestion of deviating from his pristine time
keeping. And it's the combination of rumbling bass with occasionally
accented notes and a crisp percussive back beat that provides Dave with
a launch pad to stretch out.
All the material up to this point had come from the band's self titled
debut album, but Dave threw caution to the wind by announcing the title
track of their forthcoming second album 7' (echoes of Chickenfoot's
second album entitled 111'), which was introduced as something we've
never rehearsed before', and after a pregnant pause he added, we don't
tend to rehearse much at all'.
out to be a slow burner with nice changes and a sinewy solo, while
Tired & Wasted' was a slow blues on which Jackson worked hard to
enunciate the dynamics and feel of the song.
The set picked up some welcome momentum on Dave's signature tune 'Born
Again Blues Man', complete with a cleverly employed subtle tempo change
just before the thematic vocal intro; I've been blue since I was born,
Hobo man, black cat bone; Keep on rollin', rollin' on down the track,
Trouble on my shoulder, guitar on my back I'm a bluesman, a born again
It was at this point that the band won the crowd over as the rhythm
section roared and Dave made maximum use of his Marshall stacks to take
off like a 747, layering his intense but fluid guitar lines eloquently
to create an enveloping wall of sound.
weaved in and out of the arrangement much like Tony McPhee's more
adventurous solos and they upped the volume to drag the song into
uncharted territory, only returning to base once they'd satisfied
themselves with the full possibility of the riffs. And it's those
spontaneous Bevis Frond type moments that make this band so interesting.
being their first 100 Club appearance they dipped into some psychedelic
rock-blues history for a powerful rendition of Cream's 'I'm So Glad' and
finished with an extended and mesmerising, slow version of Voodoo
Chile'. Dave filled the legendary venue with luscious deep toned notes
and wah wah that perfectly explored the musical arc conjoining the
song's traditional Catfish Blues origins with Hendrix's brooding
As with all
great gigs the evening shot by in flash. The band ran out of time and
couldn't complete a well deserved encore, but the job had already been
Review by Pete Feenstra
Album review & video
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