Concert Review

Jane’s Addiction Caught Stealing in Glasgow

The iconic original line up, stole the hearts of the crowd in Glasgow. The sold out Barrowland Ballroom witnessed an epic performance from Jane’s Addiction.

The original legendary line-up came together for an intimate gig in London one week before arriving in Glasgow. 400 lucky punters witnessed the re-birth of something great! The band were in full flow by the time they reached Glasgow. Having spent the week fine tuning what was already a formidable set up, Farrell, Navarro, Avery and Perkins were ready to turn back the clock and treat their fans by reliving those halcyon days when Jane’s Addiction were the band that launched Lollapolooza.

Any support might have been over awed by the fact that they were sharing a stage with such an iconic band but Rob Marshall and his band breezed on stage like it was just another day. Humanist was the brain child of Rob Marshall and his list of contributors reads like a who’s who of alternative rock. Having had Mark Lanegan, Mark Gardener (Ride), Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode), Joel Cadbury (UNKLE), Jim Jones (Thee Hypnotics), Carl Hancock Rux (David Holmes, Portishead) and John Robb (The Membranes) among others in the studio, he brought it all together in Glasgow. You could hear the mix of influences live as the band stormed through their set. Opening with “Beast of the Nation”, you could almost imagine the ghost of Mark Lanegan. The guttural grind of Lanegan’s voice might have been missing but the heavy driven grunge track hit home and set the bar. The tight stage set up did not lend itself to much action and there was very little interaction or hint of engagement with the crowd coming from the band. This was slightly ironic considering the band name but the music certainly did its best to transcend. As the crowd grew in numbers, so the the stature of the band. The short set ended with another two collaboration songs. Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan contributed to, “Short Collar” followed by “English Ghosts” which was recorded with John Robb (The Membranes). The crowd pretty much got the full spectrum of what Humanist are about. I’ll definitely look to catch them in a smaller venue if they return to Scotland.

Follow Humanist online: WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM

Jane’s Addiction were almost made for the famous Barrowland Ballroom. Farrell, Navaro, Avery and Perkins slipped on stage to rapturous applause and opened with “Up the Beach”. The song was like a warm up tune for the band as it gave them all the chance to mildly flex their considerable skill sets before they launched into the second song. It was a very low key start and with the stage dark, dimly lit and steeped in cosmetic smoke, the focus was on the music. Avery’s crushing bass line signified the start of “Whores” and after Perkins drums kicked in, Farrell lest loose singing at the top of his register. The audible onslaught had commenced and the flood gates had opened on what would be a gig to relish. The tickets sold out within minutes and it was obvious why. This was no trip down memory lane, more a reminder that great bands can still inspire by just getting in a room together and booking some venues. No arena’s required, Jane’s Addiction live and breathe sweaty venues and the crowd lapped up every minute, every bead of sweat. Farrell was in a playful mood as he swaggered on stage swigging from a wine bottle and asking if the crowd had been drinking since breakfast. Was it a submlinal message, an excuse in case he was off key? Maybe bravado but whatever it was, it seemed to work. Although he appeared to look slightly frail, he could still rock! The same was true of all the band members as each song was ripped out of their early back catalogue and re-imagined. The band were a unit. Absolutely dialled in and better than ever. The rock riff’s were strong in “Had a Dad” leaving no doubt that Navarro is a total guitar god! The effortless mastery of his guitar was there for all to marvel. No doubting his Marshall JCM900 was set to 11! Navarro looked very deadpan, gothic in appearance with the dramatic eye make up. Fashion wise, no frills with Avery, he is an absolute bass beast and the plain black look was as expected. Having Steve Perkins behind them was the third part of the puzzle as the string section needed to be grounded. Three absolute masters of their craft. The fact that Perry Farrell elevated the sound by his very presence kept the evening on track. The set didn’t throw up any many surprises being made up of those first two seminal albums. “Nothing’s Shocking” a literal description buttery song was nailed. There was some mid-set respite, “Jane Says” gave the audience and the band light relief and a chance to bond. “Then She Did….” followed on in a similar vain before Navarro’s intro to “Ocean Size” signified things were going to ramp up. The main set came to a blinding end with “Stop!”. Navarro’s sublime guitar work was incredible. His massive sound coming from the dual Marshall/Fender Amp set up. I doubt there’s a live guitarist like him that can switch between full on heavy licks with mind blowing shredding to lightly picked phrases.

The first encore of “Mountain Song” was followed by a biblical version of “Three Days”. This worked the crowd up into a frenzy. The band took their leave and it seemed like it was all over as the Sound Engineer started to play some outro music but the defiant Glasgow crowd just wouldn’t let the band go before they played out the song they’d waited for all night, “Been Caught Stealing”, what else! If you were there, the band left you wanting more but if you never see them again, then what a send off!

Follow Jane’s Addiction online: WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM

Jane’s Addiction continue to tour Europe for the next month before returning to USA and touring extensively.

About The Author

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Raymond Thomson - Deputy Editor

I am a photographer/musician/engineer living in Scotland. My passion is music and motocross and I share my work on facebook/punk4RT and facebook/madmaxmedia. I do like a bit of throw back to the heydays of the 60’s/70’s/80’s when it comes to taking shots of bands. I grew up on the music papers (NME/Sounds/Melody Maker) and drew influence from Pennie Smith/Jill Furmanovsky/Anton Corbijn/Bob Gruen/Adrian Boot/Charles Peterson.
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