Sunday, 14 September 2014

3/5/2013 The Temperance Movement & JJ Rosa @ The 100 Club

SubjectThe Temperance Movement & JJ Rosa @ The 100 Club
DateCreated5/30/2013 2:42:00 PM

Tonight finds me down at the 100 Club checking out a couple of up and coming acts. Less than impressed with both real ale pumps at the bar being out of use yet again though.

However, the music is good tonight. JJ Rosa is a new name to me, but she is certainly an interesting artist. 

This lady with a guitar has a powerful voice and both croons and belts out a mixture of funky soul, jazz, and rock.

JJ Rosa is almost like a female version of Prince (Princess?) and has great stage presence along with musical talent - two things that aren't that often found together in one artist.

This is a hearflet performance that veers between confidence and a certain shyness - showing moments of vulnerability. The set is varied and JJ Rosa has enough charisma to hold the attention.

Sounding at times a bit like a grittier Paloma Faith armed with a guitar (which she really knows how to use) JJ Rosa in an intriguing and captivating performer - well worth getting to this gig early for. Regular readers will know I normally include links to artist's pages, but this lady doesn't seem to have a proper one, but if you Google for more information you can find some videos and stuff - including a rather good cover of Hendix's 'Little Wing'.

And so, onto the headliners. I'd never heard of The Temperance Movement until a few months ago when Planet Rock suddenly started playing their song 'Only Friend'. I was immediately impressed with the song and their sound and wanted to find out more - you know that thing when you hear a song by a new band for the first time and straight away want to go and see them live? There seems to be a bit of hype surrounding this band as every time I find out they have a gig it's already sold out. They are still at the small club venue stage of their career though.

The Temperance Movement didn't turn out as I was expecting, but not in a bad way. From the classic rock sound I heard on the radio I was expecting Gibson guitars and walls of Marshall amplifiers. Wrong. The guitars were mostly thinner sounding Fenders, and the amps were tiny (but probably very expensive) little Fender style combos - 'boutique' amps by a name I didn't recognise. There must be some serious money behind this band. In spite of the American sound they are a British outfit, and the singer has a strong Scottish accent when he speaks between songs. They don't look much like I was expecting either - in fact they don't look much like a rock band at all. Unfortunately my (recently dropped at a gig) camera started playing up during JJ Rosa's set and along with the crowded venue and poor lighting I didn't manage to get any decent pictures to show this.

The band sounded pretty good though - they are obviously excellent musicians, although the mid-set acoustic section went on FAR too long and I was rapidly losing interest. Maybe they haven't written enough decent songs yet and needed to pad things out a bit? As far as the band's sound and image went, I was reminded of St Jude with a different singer - almost as if someone had noticed the attention that band had been getting and decided to head down the same road....

It took a long time for the venue to fill up for a sold out show, and it was an odd crowd compared to the gigs I usually go to. There seemed to be a lot of youngish and middle aged people who didn't look much like rock fans or like they went to gigs very often - maybe most of them are Planet Rock listeners who discovered the band the same way as me? Predicably 'Only Friend' got the biggest cheer of the night, but apart from being the song that's been on the radio the most it's also their best song. Some good blues/rock songs played well by a tight and highly rehearsed band, but not one of the gigs of the year so far in my book. Certainly worth seeing, but I'm somehow not left with that 'must see them again' feeling, although I expect I will. Maybe if the High Voltage festival ever returns....

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