at The Cluny 2, Newcastle, U.K., April 20, 2022

GENE LOVES JEZEBEL (Live at The Cluny 2, Newcastle, U.K., April 20, 2022)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It wasn’t the best of preparations for the start of Gene Loves Jezebel’s 40th anniversary tour. The previous day, their van including all of their equipment and merchandise got nicked. What an absolute nightmare. Total disaster, however, was averted by some helpful support acts and local contacts who rallied round and supplied some equipment so the show could go on.

Guitarist James Stevenson is certainly a busy man these days. Having played a run of shows in March with Holy Holy, the Bowie tribute band featuring Bowie’s long term producer Tony Visconti and Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory and then a 21-date 40th anniversary tour with Welsh Rockers, The Alarm, which finished just last Saturday, with barely enough time to sit down and grab a swift cuppa, he’s off out, again for yet another tour. It’s exhausting stuff just thinking about it let alone doing it.

With original singer Jay Aston and bassist Peter Rizzo along with Stevenson, this was as close as it could be to the classic incarnation of the band who charmed audiences throughout the 80s with their romantic, melodic take on Gothic music.

Tonight, was the opening night of their 40th anniversary tour to coincide with the release of their first single and an evening of music covering their whole career beckoned kicking off with “Twenty Killer Hurts” from their The House Of Dolls release.

One time The Cult guitarist, Stevenson, was outstanding throughout and it’s easy to see why he’s so revered by a wide range of artists. His playing provided the perfect melodic counterfoil to Aston’s smooth, dreamy vocals always complimenting the song and never overplaying.

With “Sweet Sweet Rain” and “The Motion Of Love” from the early days and “How Do You Say Goodbye” from their recent album, Dance Under Water, Gene Loves Jezebel delivered a beautifully balanced set closing with their most popular tunes “Desire (Come and Get It)” and “Break The Chain” providing the perfect finale to an evening of well crafted, brilliantly performed songs. It may have got off to the shakiest of starts but the 40th anniversary tour is right back on track.

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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