Jug Jaw’s Beat Club in association with NTSOBC presents James Leg, and Space Eagle at Bedfords Crypt, Norwich 8 December 2015
A very special Jug Jaw’s this month with Bedfords Crypt hosting James Leg on the final date of his two month European tour. Not surprisingly the small but wonderfully intimate and atmospheric venue was a complete sell out. In fact there was a queue already formed all the way up the stairs when I tried to get in at 8pm.
Having heard several warnings about the volume from those present at the soundcheck I was very pleased I’d remembered my earplugs, especially after a scare with my hearing recently. I certainly needed them tonight!
First on tonight was Space Eagle, with Mark “Boweevil” Howes on guitar, and Henry Greenwood on blues harp. They sounded fantastic together and really got everyone in the mood. The place was already rammed when they started and by the end one could hardly move. Lots of Red Roosters were in attendance tonight and I would so love to see the Dove and Boweevil Band, as well as Space Eagle, there next summer, hopefully that will happen, tonight won’t have done any harm to Space Eagle’s chances and we all know Dove and Boweevil deserve a place there.
I have to confess I knew little of James Leg before this date was announced but it’s safe to say he made an indelible impression on everyone here tonight. Ferociously loud and energetic, he and his drummer were a blur of hair and arms blasting out dirty, grungy garage blues. Within a couple of songs James was dripping with sweat and growling out an incredible version of The Cure’s A Forest, a song I never imagined sounding like that! Both of them put incredible energy into the music, everything they have. Whiskey-drinking James even having a jokey pop at his phenomenal drummer who swigged some much-needed water, with a jibe of “pussy”. The two of them were absolutely drenched and dripping in sweat, unsurprisingly.
A technical hitch meant some running field repairs to that beast of an organ, the keys of which had been taking a serious pounding. It didn’t interrupt anything though, everyone needed a breather and to refuel, the pace was relentless. For the final couple of numbers or so we had a welcome guest appearance from Rupert Orton, recently of the Jim Jones Revue and this cranked up the atmosphere yet another notch, closing with a blistering Jumpin’ Jack Flash/Search and Destroy. It all sounded phenomenal through the vintage amps and speakers, some of which I was stood very close to … so glad for those earplugs! This wasn’t the sort of gig where James was going to go off and come back on for an encore, so he just carried on playing as long as it was demanded and begged for (and it really was) until he exhausted his catalogue and his body. Dripping with sweat he muttered “I ain’t got no more … ” I really don’t think he had anything left to give. A stunning gig in one of the most atmospheric venues I’ve been to and quite possibly the greatest Jug Jaw’s yet. A sellout on a December Tuesday, I think everyone in attendance will be talking about this one for some time and the ripples will spread far and wide.
Many thanks to Jug Jaw’s Beat Club, all at Bedfords, James Leg, Rupert Orton, Mat Gaz, and Space Eagle, Boweevil, Henry Greenwood.
Review, photos, and videos by Richard Shashamane 2015
FANTASTICALLY EXCITING NEWS. We have a new Jug Jaw’s date to announce that will be unlike any other that has come before.
On December 8th in conjunction with NTSOBC we are proud to host the final date of James Leg’s two month European tour ( http://www.alive-records.com/artist/james-leg/).
From Port Arthur in Texas he is best known for his work in the infamous Black Diamond Heavies ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m3eoaWv8so) and has just hit the continent to promote his critically acclaimed new record ‘Below The Belt’ recorded in a Masonic Lodge owned by the Soledad Brothers. The son of a Texas preacher, raised in the Deep South on gospel music his razor throated performance and raw garage gospel blues unleashes an entirely fresh perspective on the music he loves. For fans of Tom Waits, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Booker T & The MGs, Jim Morrison and Howling Wolf. This is not to be missed.
Throwing such a raw and bloody minded performer into the unique beat club setup we have at Jug Jaw’s is likely to be one of the most exciting performances The Crypt has ever seen.
We must stress this is the most renowned touring performer to grace the Jug Jaw’s stage and it is a ticketed event so PLEASE BOOK IN ADVANCE to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.punkrockblues.co.uk/james-leg-tour.html