EDitorial ± 9-Jun-2003

New Wave

Surveying fellow members of the audience for the gig on Saturday evening, it occurred to me that babysitters in & around Cambridge must be quids-in. Then, re-examining the faces, I realised that quite a few of these guys (and couples) wouldn't need to hire such services, 'cos their kids would already be at college or in their first McJobs.

On stage was the guy who's sandwiched between Janet and Michael Jackson in my Q Encyclopedia Of Rock Stars; an act whose last top ten hit was twenty years ago; a man best known for a song with this opening line:

Pretty women out walking with gorillas down my street
— Is She Really Going Out With Him?

Yep, Joe Jackson is still going after all these years. Consulting my Q book One More Time (also, cleverly, the name of the driving opening track), I see that JJ is, gasp, 50 next year. Flippin' 'eck.

1. Look Sharp! 2. I'm The Man 4. Volume IV ...but not number 3, Beat Crazy, which *still* isn't available on CD as far as I'm aware

Between January 1979 and October 1980, the Joe Jackson four-piece band released three albums. And then, in December 1980, they split, by all accounts amicably. JJ experimented with big band bop, moved to New York, had a rare hit with Steppin' Out, got into soundtracks, wrote a symphony, and ended up on the Sony Classical label.

Forward to 2003, and the original four of Jackson, Maby, Sanford and Houghton have reunited for a 25th anniversary album and tour. On Saturday evening, mixed in with songs from the new release (Volume IV) are stacks of tracks from Look Sharp! and I'm The Man. Putting aside their combined ages, the energy generated by the band on the night is phenomenal, esp. on songs like Got The Time (once covered by Metallica!) and Don't Wanna Be Like That. Hugely impressive.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

Hey ace, shut your face:

  • catch the band this Friday, June 13th, on Later with Jools Holland
  • never seen as much bottled water drunk by a crowd
  • does it get any better than vocals, guitar, bass and drums?

Be seeing you!