Gene Loves Jezebel: Live in Brighton. Gig report!


Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Jay Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel and Scare Taxi:  Prince Albert 24 April 2022

After reschedules and venue changes, they were here!! Gene Loves Jezebel were in town. What a great night, support from Scare Taxi.

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.

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

After a fun rock out opening set by local outfit Scare Taxi, Gene Loves Jezebel took to the 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!

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.

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

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 and movements. 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.

The Band:

James Stevenson on guitars

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Peter Rizzo on bass guitar and shades

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Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard on  drums and smiles

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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. A couple of times Jay would lift up his T shirt and pound his chest. Great stuff, full of perfect theatrics.

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

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.

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

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, a true force, as well as creative with what he had with him equipment wise tonight. A great player. 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 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 their equipment was stolen. I hear they lost pretty much everything including most of their merch, a terrible thing to happen. There are some nasty bat**rds out there. The unknown borrowed equipment may have contributed to some of the tech problems, but these guys didn’t let that stop them from delivering one of the most memorable gigs seen at The Albert in quite a while. I hope the thieves get caught and the equipment is found. More information at the bottom of the page.

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

At this point congrats to the guy on the mix 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! It made a helluva difference for those of us in the audience.

The band started to close down their set with two punchy numbers from the 80’s 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.

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Jen Brown

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Jen Brown

I had met Jay a few years ago when he was doing an acoustic set with The Priscillas, and it was great to see Jen “are you a Priscilla?” Brown in the venue and mixing it up in the crowd. Jen very kindly allowed me to use her “backstage” photo. Love this Jen – thank you!

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.

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

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.

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Gene Love Jezebel: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Gene Love Jezebel: are on the WWW here.

Gene Love Jezebel: are on Facebook here.

Scare Taxi

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Brighton based Scare Taxi are Boag & Tara. The band has an eclectic former gene pool. No politics or hidden agendas here, just a penchant for style, energy, tunes & the occasional dep drummer! Their debut album Death By Music is available now.

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: bass and vocals

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene

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.

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

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 stripped back layout meant Boag got to be the focal point being almost centre stage.  A packed in crowd displayed a sense of appreciation and admiration to Scare Taxi throughout their entire set. 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.

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Bassist Tara Harley is working out plenty of bass punch lines from her huge bass. Its 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 of some audaciously fab rock poses and struts. When he hits it, stand well back.

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

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. Its 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 in a genre change into the mix. Gimmee Sensation shows these guys have plenty of power and energy under the bonnet of the Scare Taxi.

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Personality Junkyard is tidied away and I realised how damn cool they looked tonight. They looked as if they had really taken time and dress 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.

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Scare Taxi: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

You can find, like and support Scare Taxi on Facebook here.

Both bands tonight were strong, and the sounds were unforgettable.

And Finally…

The Ford van that was stolen was a Ford Transit Splitter van reg number NA09 LUO. It was stolen outside the Travelodge/Moto Services car park at the junction of the M18/M180 near Doncaster on 19 April. It’s a white van but with a distinctive blue stripe down the side. If anyone spots it get in touch with the band or Police. There was a ton of equipment on there. A heartbreaking loss – so sorry to read this guys. I guess second hand music stores will be where the stolen gear is moved to. Some of the items stolen were 4 piece Red sparkle Mapex Saturn Drumkit, White Les Paul Custom serial no 508770 and Gibson Advanced Jumbo acoustic serial no 91640008. Plus amps including Marshall JCM800 head channel switching model 2210 serial no U45409. If you spot anything please help these guys.

Thanks to Gene Loves Jezebel

Thanks to Scare Taxi

Thanks to Flag Promotionson the web here (Great night, well organised guys – impressive! Hope to work with you guys again)

Thanks to Jen Brown O’Drag for the B&W photo

Thanks to Brighton and Hove News Music Team

Words and Pictures: Ian Bourn

 

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All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2022.

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