Two reviews of HRH Prog V
HRH Prog is back at Hafyn-y-Mor in Wales and for the first year, takes over the whole site (having previously doubled up with the sci-fi weekender). That they have had no trouble finding extra prog fans is certainly evident on Thursday's opening night as the main arena is far busier than it's been in previous years. This is partly due to only the main stage being open today but even so, numbers are up and there is a good atmosphere for openers Jump.
Jump were here two years ago and the set has a familiar feel about it. Front man John Dexter Jones is as entertaining as ever, regaling the crowd with a continuous stream of little stories and anecdotes. The music has that classic 80s prog feel about it with some great guitar work but whilst undoubtedly polished it lacks a little edge at times. It is by and large upbeat however and Jump do a fine job of enthusing the crowd and they are the perfect band to kick things off and get everyone in the mood for the weekend.
A strong warm-up first day starts with some Marillion-esque neo-prog from the tenacious Jump, whose engaging singer John Dexter Jones remarks that since they last played here, "The world has turned upside down, but the prog remains the same."
The latest incarnation of The Enid is as a trio, keyboard player Zach Bullock providing occasional vocals to new fusion-styled songs, although their set, and that of Pendragon, is blighted by an overloud mix that favours instruments over vocals. Pendragon largely overcome this to deliver an epic set, before the surprisingly fresh-sounding Gong reinvent themselves with stunning musicianship and their own Adrian Belew in frontman Kavus Torabi, even if a couple of the psychedelic oldies do go on a bit too long.
We are delighted to have received these two reviews from the long-established and highly respected GENESIS fanzine 'The Waiting Room' courtesy of Mr Alan Hewitt.
(Scroll down the page for more JUMP reviews)
This is from ROCK SOCIETY magazine's review of CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL in August 2016
REVIEWS OF 'OVER THE TOP' - JUMP'S 13th STUDIO ALBUM
(Also, go HERE for some of the messages which people have been sending us.)
"The always entertaining JUMP were a welcome addition to the bill on the Prog stage, and they didn't let anyone down, with 50 minutes of quality music.
Someone who wasn't familiar with the band remarked to me that what he found likeable about them was that both the songs and John Dexter Jones' between song chat involve storytelling and creating a warm bond between band and audience, which sums the band up exactly, and if visually, they're a somewhat disparate group, musically they're right on the mark, doing full justice to the atmosphere and complexity of the songs.
They're really too good a band to be on this time of the day, but I hope some of those seeing the band for the first time check them out a little further, because they deserve to be much better known than they are."
Paul Quinton (Midlands Rocks, reviewing HRH Prog 2)
This review comes from Dai Jeffries of R2 Rock-n-Reel magazine.
I have been a fan of Jump for the best part of 21 years. It is the Classic rock society that I owe big style, not just for these but many others, in times of musical desolation. I found my first sample of these by old school recognition and recommendation by word of mouth. Fast forward to many Jump gigs later, the new album 'Over the Top' comes out and it was 'yes, get in!'. Some of the current live set had been used to fine tune some of the songs over the last 18 months or so and it shows. John Dexter Jones is a storyteller par excellence and the band are an excellent vehicle for those stories. The words are heartfelt and the music comes from the same place. If they lived in medieval times they would be the bards of old. The use of the past to illustrate the way of the world we live in now is the stock in trade here.
Stand out tracks, I want to say all of them but if I was to choose The Beach and the Wreck of the St Marie are those choices.
Mike Ainscoe's review of the Bangor show which appeared in Powerplay magazine.
A review here from Classic Rock Society magazine
And this, from Prog Magazine. (Quintet????)
This review is from Classic Rock Magazine
Working somewhat on the periphery of prog for much of their 26 years together, Jump are something of a well kept secret but their dedication to what they do and a stability in the line-up, that has kept much of it intact since the beginning, has resulted in a dozen previous albums and hundreds of live shows.
Thirteen may be unlucky for some but not Jump who now return with their new album, Over the Top, a fine collection of songs that underlines all that is good about this band. The sound often takes its flavours from the folk tradition but is delivered in a vibrant rock style that showcases the wonderful words of singer John Dexter Jones.
I'd more or less finished this review when it occurred to me that there must be so much more going on in these words than I realised, so I contacted John Dexter Jones and asked if he would mind providing some insights into the lyrics. He obliged, for which I am grateful, and I have integrated his stream of conciousness descriptions as they bring Over the Top to life much better than my meagre thoughts ever could.
Read the rest of the article HERE.
To some the very thought of putting yourself beyond the self imposed or others jealous limitations is a way of keeping control on life, by inflicting their misery upon others it gives them satisfaction that the world will turn but nobody will do something extraordinary with their time on Earth. Every time an artist, an athlete or the adept produce something it tears a little hole in the dissenter's heart, they just see it as being Over The Top.
Over The Top it may be but there is nothing exaggerated or excessive about Jump, just a kind of purity of spirit which growls with tension and understanding across the age and the wink, the full blown gesture of defiance, which guides the album along with rage, beauty and fighting poise.
What you ask from in a lyric writer is the sense of occasion that is handled with truth and gravitas, regardless of the genre it is placed within, if it doesn't contain honesty in the endeavour then it truly means very little, it holds no substance to the poetic form on offer. In John Dexter Jones and Jump, the poetry is sensitive and at times brutal, it is a format that has made the band stand out so much over the years, the lyric, precise, grafted over with sweat and inherent Welsh integrity is enhanced by the sheer gutsy dedication in which the music, slow, exact, powerful, is performed.
It is in that sensitivity to the lyric so beautifully captured by the band that makes each song a story, a tale of a life, become so entwined with intrigue and value; it has long been established within the group that this ethic be stamped across every album and it with wonderful candour to the cause that sees it remain in Over The Top.
The album sits perfectly within the Jump cannon, each song capturing an emotion that you might not necessarily thought you would ever feel, it is the quietness in strength that gains the momentum and holds it in place until the listener is enlightened and exhausted. In tracks such as the tremendous Old Gods, The Vagrant's Song, This Beach and 50, Jump once more attack the failure of systems and the beauty to be found in the everyday, it is the enlargement of the microscopic that charms and the sense of uniting of intensity and fragility that beguiles.
Jump may be one of the best kept secrets in the U.K. but like all secrets they abound with depth and heroic effectiveness when realised and allowed into the hearts. They remain a band that is never Over The Top, just simply refreshing and meaningful to many.
Ian D. Hall
JUMP's 13th studio album is a collection of tales about people, situations and causes, and songwriter John Dexter Jones (as on previous JUMP albums) has put his Celtic story-telling gene to full use. For instance, the true story of Johnny V is a quirkily nostalgic epitaph which will strike a chord with everyone from Bangor who knew Johnny. And if you didn't know Johnny, you will after you've listened to the song. Ronnie Rundle's guitar solo is dedicated to him - what a powerful headstone for this local character!
There are plenty of moments on OTT which might give you goosebumps. Sir Thomas And The Passer-By is an account of a medieval double-hanging.
Behind The Lines is the story of what happened to a terrified young WWI soldier who couldn't take that final step 'over the top' of the trenches. Another itchy lyric is from The Vagrants' Song - "there's scraps in our beards, too much wax in our ears"... Uggghhh... you're making me feel dirty!
And talking of having stuff in our ears, I woke up with The End Of Days earworm at about 3am, and it was still there at lunchtime!
Great album, with much more on it than the songs about death and decay which I've mentioned here! It's full of word pictures that perfectly fit the tunes - and the solo in Fifty is worth the album price on its own.
To read what JDJ has to say, including an interesting story about the front cover, go HERE.