Sunday, 23 February 2014

30/7/2007 CJ & The Satellites + Planet Of Women @ the Water Rats

SubjectCJ & The Satellites + Planet Of Women @ the Water Rats

Two bands I really want to see, both playing on the same night - in the same venue - that makes a change! I'd been looking forward to this show for a while as it's so long seen I've been able to see Planet Of Women. Lead singer Jade has been having some problems with her voice, but hopefully is now well on the road to recovery and with a bit of luck the band's album will be finished fairly soon. There have been some changes to the band's lineup since I last saw them and there is now a different rhythm section in place - and also an extra guitarist tonight. Planet Of Women have recently completed a tour with ex-Rainbow singer Graham Bonnet and are on good form.
They are all sounding good, although the sound mix in this venue leaves a bit to be desired on this occasion - both on and off stage. However, the band don't let it hold them back and they throw everything into this performance.
Jade's searing vocals could strip the paint from the walls but Nina and Jolene's excellent voices are a little too far down in the mix tonight.
It's great to see this band back and still firing on all cylinders, although the new lineup will take a bit of getting used to.  Hopefully, their shows will become more regular again now...

There was quite an air of anticipation for CJ & The Satellites set. Last time the band played here the place was packed, and once again tonight I see a lot of familiar faces - people who I used to see all the time in the days of regular Five Miles High promoted shows in London, but most of whom I see only rarely these days.  CJ has been pretty busy over the last year - finishing and touring an album with the WiLDHEARTS, and now in that band's downtime doing the same with his own band.
CJ's Satellites are now a very tight unit - having travelled all the way to China to tour, and now touring in the UK to promote the new album. And rather a good album it is too! Poppier than the Wildhearts, but not as sticky sweet as the Jellys studio output - and more polished and commercial than Honeycrack.  As you would expect, the band rock harder on stage than on the album, but the catchy tunes are still present to hold it all together.
Zen Motel frontman Lee holds down a solid bass to bind things together while ex-3 Colours Red man Paul Grant adds extra guitar colour and also some vocals - it all seems to fit together really well and CJ seems to be enjoying himself in spite of a few technical problems with guitars.
A happy cheerful atmosphere fills the room in a not dissimilar way to a Wildhearts show, but without the tension and unpredictable edge of that band's performances. A very good night all round! 

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