Location: Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA
Please excuse the ramblings of a couple of very tired yet exicted fans.
My mother and I, who have been listening to the band since the early 80's, consider ourselves quitre lucky to have attended both shows, Philly & VA, near our home in Ocean City, Maryland. It was certainly everything we expected and more, and worth every minute behind the wheel. Anyone who has a chance to see the NYC show should do themselves a favor, compel all their friends to attend, and allow one of the most down to earth bands to give you a night of high quality entertainment.
The show in Philadelphia started around 9:00 or so with a local band, The Trouble with Sweeney. They helped draw some locals to the venue and fill a large dance floor/club. As I was downstairs in the restaurant talking with Pat and Max, I didn't get to see but one or two songs of theirs. I think if I wasn't there to see JBC, I may have enjoyed them. For those who are looking for a place to do some pre-show drinking, I advise you to go to the venue itself. At the risk of being put in the band's doghouse, I will tell you that they made themselves available for conversation & cocktails at the bar. I know they must have been a little uncomfortable with the attention, not to mention that they were in a steakhouse.
I felt like a kid at Christmas, to be able to talk with the fellows before the show. They were having a pint with a few friends from the US, but took the time to answer a few questions I had about the history of the band, how the tour was organized, their songwriting techniques, and overall impression of the US and its fans. It's so refreshing to meet musicians who are unpretentious, polite, and accessable. If other bands I've seen acted the same way, I'm sure they would have a more devoted following.
As I headed upstairs to set up the minidisc player (Yes, I tried to tape both shows, I'll get those interested more info later - Thank you, DJ the sound man.), I stopped at the concession booth. Kathie, a woman of multi-talents, was very patient in answering a few more questions I forgot to ask downstairs. She sang backup vocals on Max's new song, "Baby , It's You." & Owen's tune "Don't Let Me Keep You." When she's not doing this, she also restrings the guitars (Pat was playing with a religious fervor), drives the band around, and helps to keep them in line and make sure things run smoothly.
The four song set by AEUK was not what you'd expect at a JBC show. If any of you have listened to the Black Eg album, you'd have a pretty good idea what they're like. Since the drummer and bassist left the tour in Chicago, they were accompanied by the Barrister of Bass, who was making a statement on global warming by performing in a Baklava. He must be quite passionate about the subject, as I almost passed out in a sportshirt and shorts. Although most of the other reviews stated that the AEUK members were inaccessable, I found the exact opposite. I talked at great length to Chris and Scott (thanks for the T's) and they actually helped organize the tour. They booked the clubs, helped with the driving, setting up instruments, etc. Diehard JBC fans, and a pair of very nice guys. Sorry, I never asked what the acronym means.
At about 10:30 the JBC took to the stage. I'll get the set list out of the way, and I've included some of the background info the band provided:
Partytime Pat & Max What's The Matter, Boy? Dedicated to the man with the Box on his head Baby, It's You. Pat, Max, Owen (Accordian & Foot Tambourine), & Kathie (Vocals) - This is a perfect example of how to write a song using the same words over & over, just put the word "Baby" in it, even if it's a little weird to call your girlfriend, "baby." Don't Let Me Keep You Pat (Bass), Max, Owen (Guitar & Lead Vocal) & Kathie (B Vocal) - Owen's got a great voice, he should sing more. Sorry I didn't recognize you downstairs, you've changed a little bit since the cover to The Gift of Music. Drink Pat (Kazoo) , Max, Owen, & Steve (Bass) Human Jungle Who Loves You Now? Pat on Bass - he did quite well actually, hardly a "doomed endeavor" though, sorry Max. Diamorphine - I hope this one is on their upcoming album. I really liked this song, and when Pat "did a rock", the crowd went nuts. I wish he'd have faced the crowd though, so I could have seen how fast he was playing. Girlfriend Mr. Odd Niagra - a song about the hole in Pat's bathroom ceiling Rose Marie - This one's on Max's solo endeavour. I always thought it was about a very old girlfriend that he liked to keep hanging around in the basement. It's actually about a painting, which makes a lot more sense. Sleepwalking - One of those "misery" songs on the new album. Another great tune, my mother's favourite Soul Happy Hour (Elephant version) - Someone requested a song about elephants. And just like elephants, the JBC never forgets to go to the corner liquor store and roll around on the floor. She's On Drugs - To those who took exception to my dancing, remember the 1st three words to this song, "You Can Dance" Come On Marie Sweetwater - Something about a bender, the desert in California, & an old Biker bar transformed into a transvestite cowboy bar. Bigfoot Motel Caroline Wheeler - a lot of pogo-ing by band and fans alike. She's a Yo-Yo Encores: Forever (It's a Beautiful Thing)
Take the Skinheads Bowling (American Folk Music)
Over the Rainbow (Flaming Lips version)
I can't read what I wrote
The band played with great energy, Guitar strings and picks were falling apart left and right. Throughout the show, we were treated to witticisms from the Butcher and Max, it seemed like they were having as much fun as we were. Before the first encore, Pat said, "We don't have a backstage, so we could hide in the bathroom, or play some more." The crowd made the right decision. I wish more of the fans had danced, I think of it as a way to show my appreciation of the music the band was putting their hearts and soul into. There was very limited seating, so we were all on our feet anyway. Overall though the fans were great too. After the show, Pat and Max hung out, and talked to the fans, but we couldn't stick around as we were driving to VA for the next show. Review to follow.
Anyone who can make the last few shows should go at all costs. Who knows if there will be a next time?
I hope to see you in New York.
- 1. Partytime
- 2. What's The Matter, Boy?
- 3. Baby, It's You ( Max Eider )
- 4. Don't Let Me Keep You ( Owen Jones )
- 5. D.R.I.N.K.
- 6. The Human Jungle
- 7. Who Loves You Now?
- 8. Diamorphine
- 9. Girlfriend
- 10. Mr. Odd
- 11. Niagara
- 12. Rosemarie ( Max Eider )
- 13. Sleepwalking
- 14. Soul Happy Hour
- 15. She's On Drugs
- 16. Come on, Marie
- 17. Sweetwater
- 18. Bigfoot Motel
- 19. Caroline Wheeler's Birthday Present
- 20. She's a Yo-Yo