At The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., November 3, 2018

JON SPENCER (Live at The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., November 3, 2018)
Photo: Mick Burgess

He must be either mad or something of a genius to head out on tour and play his entire, new solo album, only released a day earlier. Former Blues Explosion/Heavy Trash/Pussy Galore frontman, Jon Spencer, may be a touch of both but whatever he is, he’s never been safe or boring.

His latest album, Sing The Hits is as far removed from commercial as you can get but all the better for it and pretty much the whole album was aired over the course of the show with Fake, I Got The Hits and album standout, Ghost grabbing the attention.

Spencer’s biting, fuzzed up riffs along with his twisted Elvis-esq vocals create a Rock’n’Roll firestorm. His take on the Blues shaking convention to its core and totally debunking the myth that Blues has hasn’t progressed since Robert Johnson sold his soul at Mississippi’s Devil’s Crossroads. It’s fresh, energetic and bloody thrilling.

Convention also goes out of the window with his band. Spencer handles guitar and vocals, and there’s a drummer and keyboard player and someone that can only be described as an industrial percussionist playing what appears to be part of a car shell with springs and sheet metal added for variety and all hit with implements including a hammer. Bizarre but utterly transfixing.

A dapper looking Spencer couldn’t ignore his past with Shirt Jac from his Blues Explosion Days eliciting a rabid crowd response as did Pussy Galore’s New Breed.

Spencer handed the microphone over to keyboardist, Sam Coomes for a cover of his former band Quasi’s, Tough Times In Plastic Land and Bo Diddley’s classic Roadrunner received the Spencer makeover and formed the basis of a call and response with the crowd.

It was all over within an hour in a short, sharp Rock ‘n’ Roll smash and grab. Brilliant.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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