We made our way to the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, feeling particularly excited and looking forward to what was essentially for us a double header. After witnessing a superb show from the supporting act the Amber Herd at a small old theatre just outside Chesterfield to launch their debut album, I was delighted when I heard the news that they were supporting another of my favourite bands from the late eighties/early nineties, Jesus Jones.

The Amber Herd are made up of Neil Beards (vocals and acoustic guitar), Rob Fitzmaurice (bass), Mark Lasbury (percussion), Ollie Powditch (keyboards) and Paul Wentworth (electric guitar), and they are currently in mid throw of touring their eagerly-awaited album ‘Our Only Eden’, which has finally been unleashed on their quickly growing fan base and the general public. It was good to see also that that actual fan base had turned up in force too. We were all treated to a set not too dissimilar to the album launch gig, and it did prove one thing to all watching. The Amber Herd are already looking good in their continued progression, and don't look one bit out of place on the bigger Rescue Rooms stage. It was good to see the lads enjoying what they are good at. The chap next to me, as I slid into the pit for the photos, asked me if I knew them. When I told him it was their debut album, he, looking shocked, replied, “I thought they'd been doing it for years. They are that tight!” As the Amber Herd made their way off stage, they were given a strong ovation for what was a very accomplished set.

Gracing the stage earlier than most of the other nights on their tour due to an early curfew, Jesus Jones made their way to their respective instruments. The group consists of Mike Edwards (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Jerry De Borg (guitars), Al Doughty (bass), Iain Baker (keyboards, programming and now on ‘NME’ radio) and Gen (drums, additional percussion).

Now, I don't really know what was in my head and what I was actually expecting, but it wasn't the volume. That's for sure. I remember buying ‘Doubt’, the CD version of the album they were performing tonight, and it was a cross between funky guitar early nineties material and the start of the Acid House movement. If you hadn't been to see them before and were expecting some kind of Acid House trip, then you were in for a bit of a shock. First and foremost, Jesus Jones are a guitar band. Secondly they are a loud guitar band. And as if that wasn't enough, thirdly they are fucking good with it. I, for one, wasn't expecting the level of effort put into the set.

Don't get me wrong though. They still shine a gleaming light into what was - for me - a dubious end to that trip back then, but, they now have an edgier, rockier and somewhat fevered crispness to them. They raced through the whole album, which included such favourites as 'Real, Real, Real’, ‘Who, Where, Why’ and ‘International Bright Young Thing'. The vocals of Edwards haven’t faded and the guitar acrobatics of Doughty still impress. De Borg expertly blasts through his guitar, and Baker still has that wandering, bumping and rocking sound of his out to a tee.

But that wasn't the end by a long way. They played some later material to the glee of the now packed out Rescue Rooms, and the crowd jumped around enthusiastically when they went into later material like 'Zeroes and Ones' and 'Idiot Stare'. Encoring with 'Info Freako' and 'Someone to Blame', they disappeared just as they arrived and as we had finally had our fill. Marvellous!

















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