You would not believe me how many people told me this week that JW Paris would be huge in the 90s. I disagree. The 1990`s were thirty years ago and if we look back without rose tinted glasses, we may find out that the scene back then was not very accommodating and many great bands were kicked to the curb. Also, to quote Steve Lamacq – nostalgia is a waste of emotions.
I want bands like JW Paris to hit it big – here and now.
Today we have a better chance than ever to shape the circuit in more democratic and open ways, to allow more bands to live off their art, to tour and record. Hence it is essential to support the new and upcoming artists. Turn that digital banger up to 11, buy that ticket for a show in a local venue for a fiver. Check out artists on smaller, independent labels.
The manufactured pop starlets being hyped to stratosphere by major labels will do just fine without us. There is life outside top 40. And if our support can deliver truly independent act to the charts, that`s even better. Nothing to lose, a lot to gain.
In February, I had a pleasure to see a concert at the Castle Hotel in Manchester that included four acts: Luna Rosa, The Seven Sentinels, Sean Grant & The Wolfgang and JW Paris as part of Project Leave the Capital. It was an indie heaven: crowd funded EP and a national tour, all DIY with no strings attached. I left the gig with ringing in my ears and honest conviction that current UK scene is a gold mine. You can walk into any pub and whatever you find there will be better than whatever majors bet on these days.
JW Paris new single “Electric Candle Light”, that came out on March 25, just confirms what I knew after Castle Hotel gig. The London trio are a category five hurricane divided between three people. They are fast, furious and they take no prisoners. They will steal your heart and ears like a certain gentleman thief with a smile and you won`t even notice.
JW Paris have long been described as an Anglo-American, alt-rock swagger and taking influences from both sides of the pond is obvious. There are echoes of Collective Soul, Jaw Breaker, Green River and Better Than Ezra in their music, as well as little bit of Suede and Blur for the balance. But it’s the vocal harmonies that make the song stand out. Danny Collins and Aaron Forde adopted similar approach to singing as Veruca Salt and the layered vocals makes “Electric Candle Light” such a powerful track. Thunderous drumming is another element that I love – you all need to see Gemma Clarke (previously Babyshambles) playing live and working her magic: a blur of blonde hair, laughter and precision to fully appreciate what she created on the single. I have seen some very lively drummers but Gemma is in a league of her own. I will never tire of seeing strong and talented women in the music industry. Go Gemma!
The band are breaking their backs on tours, playing gigs to crowds big and small. I`ve seen them interacting with fans, strangers and even people at the bar who completely ignored the fact the trio played in a room next door. Not one ounce of arrogance, big grins on their faces and never ending, albeit tongue-in-cheek, humour. Honestly, I wish I had their outlook on life. They are also one of the nicest bands I have met in this industry. Maybe a cliché, but the “brotherhood” of musicians is a thing. You have to like each other, if you gonna spend weeks in the same van. And JW Paris are one big, positive family. Everyone they encounter becomes a part of the community. Something I haven’t felt since AF Gang. Or even Archives of Pain (if you are as ancient as yours truly).
One final observation. JW Paris seem to be on the fronts of a new scene being born. You may have noticed a resurgence in harder elements of rock recently – Seattle sound (grunge), garage, stoner, doom even. And circuit starts to respond to it. 90s heavyweight Loosegroove label has been resurrected and signed two bands from the UK (Tiger Cub and James and the Cold Gun), newly set up GrungePop Records works with Bruce Pavitt (legendary A&R from the era) and have ten acts on the roster. Filth is Eternal that are roaring from Pacific Northwest may come to visit old country. I feel like we are about to witness college/alternative revival, only this time it will be on Thames rather than on the banks of Pudget Sound.
Stranger things have happened. Just remember in case grunge comes back into fashion – you get your flannel from a second hand store, not the High Street.
And if you need a poshly named furniture, let`s say a chaise longue, try local IKEA.
You can follow JW Paris using the links below: