“I reckon I have seen Jump nigh on 30 times and they have never played the same set twice. Fronted by Celtic bard John Dexter Jones, still looking as lithe and nimble as when I first saw him, he is the reminder of the fact that the protest song is still as relevant as it ever was and why musicians must talk about politics and life.
I read a lot of guff online about people saying that musicians shouldn’t talk about politics in their music and they should keep their art separate. Why? Is always my stock answer, they are making their art and it is not up to us to dictate what anyone should sing about. I remember the Jump song Tower of Babel, inspired by someone telling John he shouldn’t swear so much. Politics is everywhere, it dictates house prices, it permeates our every being, everything that happens to us and society is dictated to by politics, so musicians should reflect that in what they do if they are being true to themselves and their art.
He is a passionate, articulate and intelligent frontman who comes from proud Welsh stock and his history is as important as our future. This was evident in this truly impassioned and powerful set, featuring as it did, several songs that still resonate and sadly, despite being written a while ago, are still as relevant as they ever were.
The scathing Moscow Circus (taken from my favourite Jump album ‘Matthew’) and the new poem to music The Station Parade segueing into The Sniper from ‘The Beachcomber’ album, were two personally poignant insights about the First World War in the 100th year since it finished and telling of the folly of war and the story of one of John’s Great Uncles.
However, the highlight and most powerful song of their set, nay the weekend, was their new number Breaking Point, the title taken from ‘that’ EU referendum poster. It is John's most brutal and impassioned takedown of this whole Brexit clusterfuck and rise of the right, I doubt there was anyone in there who wasn’t moved and understood the message behind the song.
Jump as a band are peerless live and they just get so much better with age, like a fine wine, with the twin guitar sounds of Steve Hayes and Ronnie Rundle trading licks and rolling riffs from one side to the other, whilst Mo on keys adds a lot of texture to the sounds. Andy Barker on drums keeps the beat going while newest member, Mark Pittam on bass, fits in perfectly with the band ethos.
JDJ made a humorous comment from a previous review about him hectoring and haranguing an audience, and you know what, for the quality of the performance and the songs I would happily be hectored and harangued for another few hours thank you very much.”
“JUMP frontman John Dexter Jones has an enduring fascination with and empathy with the wartime experiences of his family and with that in mind, the first part of the band’s set was based on songs that were structured around those experiences. As usual, the frontman, as well as doing his usual excellent job leading the band, gave us some of the background behind the songs, in other words a typically fascinating and enthralling Jump set. The rest of the band were first class, with a special mention to Ronnie Rundle and Steve Hayes for their work on guitar.”
Resonate Festival - 13th September 2018
A cracking start with Jump leaving the audience rocking on their heels. With only an hour for each band, no prisoners were to be taken. Jump have been around for 25 years plus, but you wouldn’t know it from the exuberance of their delivery; slick, professional, and John Dexter Jones is entertaining in every aspect you want from a front man. Songs of this and that, from those areas that only progressive music ever seems to touch. I loved the set, and I hope that my first experience of Jump is not my last.
The Progressive Aspect
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.
Earlier reviews can be found HERE.