billy jenkins with the blues

selected live reviews 

GUARDIAN UNLIMITED August 2000 (Blue Elephant)
LONDON EVENING STANDARD September 2000 (Vortex)
GERMANY November 2000




20 September 2000

Straight up, it's full of kinks by Jack Massarik

Billy Jenkins with the Blues Collective - VORTEX

Comedy and jazz don't mix easily. For one thing, you might offend people, including your own band.

"Our violinist Dylan Bates has handed in his notice because he says I muck about too much," Billy Jenkins claimed, and since he later introduced the smooth-headed Rick Bolton as "Mr Homer Simpson on rhythm guitar", it was hard to tell if he was kidding. Though driven by anger (his new album,, paints a grim picture of suburban London life), Bromley's thrash-guitar satirist is a bit of a scream.

He gets laughs because his musical skill gains respect before the jokes start, and because he can think on his feet, sometimes at Olympic speed. Take the moment his five-man Blues Collective took the stage. A police car screamed past, siren blaring, and Billy instantly shoved open a window. "Hey, shuddup! We're trying to play some jazz in here," he roared, making sudden stooges of the Met's finest. They like this kind of thing at The Vortex, a cosy little club above a secondhand bookshop in Stoke Newington.

Billy holds a Tuesday residency here, which might explain why he refrains from commenting on its veggie food counter (Nut Roast was the plat du jour) or its twinkly, fairylight decor. Instead, his selections this week concentrated on major social issues, like keeping up with the neighbours (Pointless Adornments), consensual sex with your pet tortoise (First Time The Earth Shook) and the power of a blues prayer (Forgive Us Our Three Passing Chords and Lead Us Not To The Temptations).

Bolton, Bates, bassist Thad Kelly and drummer Roy Dodds played it straight and salvaged some mellifluous moments before Billy, risking audience participation, found a suitable way to end the set."Gimme a chord!" "A flat seventh!" Kerrranggg!

Tuesdays until 31 October. Box office: 020 7254 6516.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.


Nürnberger Nachrichten 6.11.2000

Billy Jenkins mit der Blues Collective

Jazz Ost-West Nürnberg 3.11.00

Mit Billy Jenkins schließlich hielt zu fortgeschrittener Stunde der musikalische Wahnsinn Einzug. Denn wenn dieser Brite seinen Blues bekommt, kennt er keine Gnade. Nicht, dass er ihm die Laune verdürbe, er macht ihm im Gegenteil Lust, alles, was denn Blues auszumachen scheint, zu zertrümmern. Das Publikum hatte er auf seiner Seite, als er sich meuchelnd auf ausgenudelte Bluesphrasen stürzte und dabei die Avantgarde nicht zu beschimpfen vergaß.

© 2000 Nürnberger Nachrichten

Abendzeitung 6.11.00

Billy Jenkins mit der Blues Collective

Jazz Ost-West Nürnberg 3.11.00

Und Ringo Starr? Der hatte sich ziemlich verandert, hieß in Wirklichkeit Mike Pickering und spielte in Billy Jenkins' "Blues Collective". Der Britische Gitarren-Exzentriker mit dem heraushängenden Hemd und dem wirren Haar ­ also der fleischgewordene Griff in die Steckdose ­ spielte wieder Dr. Jenkins und Mr. Hyde und fühlt sich bei der Blues-Persiflage wie John Lee Hooker und Elton John. Mit zwei Worten: extra irre : "Jazz had a baby, and they called it Avantgarde", atzte er.

© 2000 Abendzeitung

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