London rock ‘n’ rollers The Jim Jones Revue have been playing ear-splitting gigs in the capital since they got together in 2007. While their retro sound is undeniably memorable on record, it’s the sweaty, visceral live shows that really show what this band can do.
We spoke to Rupert Orton, co-founder of the five-piece (and, incidentally, brother of Beth) about the group’s latest material, and what they have planned for next month’s sold-out shows in Hackney.
How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard your music?
It’s 21st century rock ‘n’ roll.
How does your latest record compare to earlier material?
‘The Savage Heart’ is a step on from the first two albums, but it’s still very much a Jim Jones Revue record.
It’s high energy and still exciting, but we pushed ourselves into unchartered areas.
Your shows are very loud. Did you set out to be louder than other bands?
Rock ‘n’ roll needs to be loud but we’re not loud just for the sake of it. Our sound engineers are highly trained volume technicians!
And how’s your own hearing?
Why did you decide to play a residency at the Sebright Arms?
We’re releasing a new single ’7 Times Around The Sun’ on 13 May and wanted to play some special shows around the release. The Sebright Arms is in Hackney just round the corner from where we rehearse, so it’s great to be playing on home turf.
It’s a small venue by your standards, isn’t it?
Yes! We wanted to go back to a venue that’s a similar size to where we played when we started – and we wanted to give something back to the fans instead of playing just another big London show. These shows are gonna be right in your face.
How did you choose the acts you’ll be playing with?
They’re all friends, like Emma from Band of Skulls who we played with very early on.
Just recently we did a TV show with Hollie Cook & The Rotten Hill Gang at Mick Jones’s studio, where we played The Small Faces song ‘Tin Soldier’. It went really well so we decided to do it at The Sebright too.
Is there anything unique about gigging in London?
It’s our home town so the London show is always the big one on any tour. Alongside Paris, London shows are always great to play.
Do you have any favourite London venues?
Her Majesty’s Theatre is pretty stunning. Nick Cave played there recently.
Do you have a London secret you’d like to share?
We played a lot of early shows at The Boston Music Room in Tufnell Park. It’s actually built over a swimming pool – it used to be part of a Victorian hotel that is now The Boston Arms pub.
The Jim Jones Revue play The Sebright Arms on 8 -11 May. Tickets are sold out.