The Jokers were formed in 2006 with one aim, to create the world’s greatest rock and roll band, they may never be that but they certainly play great original rock and blues rock and know how to please a crowd. These four lads from Liverpool, Wayne vocals, Paul lead guitar vocals, Tom bass, and Johnny drums sang and played songs from their three albums, The Big Rock ‘n’ Roll Show, Rock ‘n Roll is alive and Hurricane. Plenty of hard rock riffs the Led Zep influences and AC/DC come through with a mixture of hard and heavy rock then going into slow almost at times psychedelic tunes sang with the lovely melodic voice of Wayne. Straight into the set with You’re Gone and Rock n Roll is Alive, later the bluesy rock of Angel, the infectious riff and heavy drum sound and lovely deep bass of Run for Cover which had a Foreigner feel to it, and then the brilliant Night Driver where this really gets to show off Paul’s guitar skills, with his axe pointed to the ceiling and knees bent in a crouching position this got the heads banging and had Wayne interacting with the crowd echoing ‘HEY HEY HEY’. And more crowd participation this time on Salvation with WHOOAOOOAS, ending the set with the toe tapping Silver City. It is a big surprise to me that The Jokers have slipped under the radar a bit and not had more recognition, they definitely had the crowd singing along and what started off as a smallish audience by the time they were into the second half of their set it had definitely grown. Maybe not the greatest rock n roll band, but a damn fine one.
The headliners have been around nearly thirty years now since their first self-titled album in 1989 and they are in the upper echelons of raw rock and roll blues punk. Now on a reunion tour and giving fans a chance to see these legends they are showcasing their new album High Water, the band are lead vocals and founding member David Roach and founding member on drums Patrick Muzingo along with Todd Muscat bass and the two lead guitarists Tim Mosher, and guesting for the tour Jimmy James from The Hangmen. They stopped touring but now they are back ready to show old and new fans they still have what it takes. Roach has said “we didn’t date ourselves too much in the past and I think our songs still have relevance today”. We’re not trying to recreate what we did all those years ago, we just play rock ‘n roll and songs about love, life and memories. The minute they started you felt the punk sound of the Ramones; the fast hard drum sound and bass of Motorhead and with the stern faced Roach commanding the stage you just knew this was going to be a rock n roll ride and boy was it! Along with playing the new numbers they went through all the classics, Roach introducing the band in pure Lemmy style “WE’RE JUNKYARD AND WE PLAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL”. Kicking off with the Dead Kennedys classic Life Sentence from their debut album which had the crowd straight away singing along, then into Back on the Streets and Long way home, then a couple of the new songs Hellbound and Faded. Their set was brilliantly mixed with old and new throughout the night, and the energy of Roach was incredible and at times he stepped off stage for a breather and also to give the others a chance to shine; even walking into the crowd once where he happily shook hands with fans. These guys bleed old school, pure punk and rock along with a blues and even a country sound at times but total balls to the wall attitude with everything they do, and by the time they had come to their last song We Fight Like We Fuck I think I was nearly as exhausted as Roach and when the band stepped off the stage the crowd were not going to let them go without hearing the ultimate classic Hollywood and they didn’t disappoint. Pure energy pure emotion just a pure delight.
Review by Dave Martin & pics by Carol Henson aka LadyGigger.