OK, if it's acceptable in the '90s to have skate-punk (a cross between hardcore punk-rock, heavy metal and other rock influences), then why shouldn't there be skate-pop?
And if there is such a musical form, then let it be known that the five Brits known as Jesus Jones are probably the most successful (so far) of the style's pioneers.Mixing elements of thrash pop with hip-hop, hard rock, punk and dance music, the band has already become one of the most welcomed (and rightfully so) of the current "rave" bands coming out of the Sceptered Isles.
The fact that the band uses "sampling" - a process where band members record bits and pieces of other peoples' stuff, then program them into a synthesizer, where they can be played back at different pitches - puts Jesus Jones in company with other pop pilferers like the Wonder Stuff and Pop Will Eat Itself.
Unlike those groups, though, the members of Jesus Jones don't have any attitude problems and seemingly enjoy playing live. Under those conditions, the band sounds much as it does on vinyl, just a bit sloppier and sometimes more energetic.
During Saturday night's show, lead man Mike Edwards suffered a bit of a letdown, sometimes suffering from a vocal power outage, which is surprising since some of his stylings have the sheer charisma of the Cult's Ian Astbury - without the pompous pseudo-metal air.
The rest of the band made up for this shortcoming, especially keyboardist and sampler Barry D. His constant clowning and prowling of the stage during "Trust Me" and "Are You Satisfied?" came off as a funny parody of such fist-shaking routines from groups like Depeche Mode and Front 242.
Additionally, live performances give drummer Gen more to do and consequently make most numbers sound better (especially without the clicking drum synth noise). Guitarists Jerry De Borg and Edwards also put in terrific efforts, especially with Mediterranean-sounding lines on "Who? Where? Why?"
On the down side, Fairpark security again practiced inconsistent measures and policies. While guards constantly patrolled the coliseum floor extinguishing any smoking materials, sound crew members were allowed to smoke as much as they wanted.
Opening act Soho was a big disappointment, largely relying on twin vocalists Jacqueline and Pauline Cuff.
Although at times the two sisters attempted harmonies akin to the B-52s' Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson (whom the two admit are an influence), most of their vocals fell flat. Besides, the band's songwriting talents are a bit suspect.