Live appearances by the band have been few and far between during the last year but for anyone who suspects that they have been taking it easy they would be very much mistaken. After a flurry of frequent headlining and support performances their sound and style began to gather momentum delighting their ever increasing fan base and the music media alike. The international appeal of their sound captured the attention of American based S- Curve Records who proceeded to sign them up with the exciting prospect of their first album release in early 2012. Add to that a series of flagship gigs in New York and it’s clear that you have a band, although still young, proving to be wise beyond their years, setting themselves for the long game whilst determined to dictate their own destiny.
In conversation, as on stage, Jessie Rose is confident and full of energy with the flame that burns within her stunning eyes fanned by an unquenchable desire to succeed. Personnel changes have seen the original line up honed into a slick, tight, three piece unit driven with a singular vision, confident in their strengths and fully aware of how well they work together. Couple that with the ability of a performer who commands the stage as well as Jessie Rose and you have the prospect of an outstanding night of music. Here we have a trio of talented musicians with drummer James Wood whose relentlessly powerful beats form a backdrop over which the statuesque figure of Mark Lewis layers his funky bass lines in support of Jessie’s voice which manages to be hugely soulful while simultaneously laced with Manc attitude. Launching into opener “Love Me (The Way You Love Me)” the band set the mood for the night and swiftly follows it with the sexy and smouldering “Step Aside”. As much a part of Jessie’s persona as her musical ability is her uniquely striking appearance with a seemingly limitless wardrobe of eye catching outfits - tonight’s including figure hugging leggings and stilettos in a blazing shade of red topped off with a white feather boa - the combination of which compliments her trademark hairstyle.
Just as she draws on classic retro fashion to create a kaleidoscopically colourful visual image she also plucks elements from the various musical genres of Soul, Motown, Jazz and Reggae that have influenced her tastes, acknowledging the shifting nuances to be found as these forms have developed from the ’50’s to the present day. In addition to this her considerable virtuosity as a guitarist and keyboard player should not be overlooked as it brings an urgency and vitality integral to their sound.
The moody delivery of “No One Ever Told Me” brings about a change of pace and offers one of the night’s best opportunities to appreciate the more subtle qualities of Jessie’s voice and gives even greater indication as to just how good a vocalist she is. The pace is quickened again with the fluent rhythm of “Devil” followed by a ‘poke in the eye’ for all of those who have ever broken someone’s heart from punchy track “Hurt”. A shot of bluesy adrenalin is injected straight into the heart of “This World”, again bringing the best from Jessie’s delivery and hopefully showing the way to further and even deeper exploration into this type of sound. All too soon the set is drawing to a close and Jessie brings the show to a grandstand finish as she clambers on top of the monitors to set the crowd dancing for the final number - a full on version of brilliantly infectious single “You Won’t Forget Me Boy” followed by encore “Down”. The coming year will without question be THE year for The Jessie Rose Trip for if 2011 has seen them placing the detonators then in 2012 we are set to see the explosions begin.
This is one Trip you won’t want to miss.
Review /photos by Shay Rowan