Originally published by L.S. Media. March 8th 2011.
To miss a band whilst they are touring the country can sometimes be unfortunate; to miss them for a couple of tours can be a seen as neglectful but to miss them when that group is the legendary Jump, it can be downright criminal.
The bands name might not roll of the tongue as memorable but if you ever saw them perform you would be a fan for life. Armed to the teeth with an arsenal of honest, intelligent and scathing songs the band have been playing live for the best part of two decades and have had the kudos of supporting some of the finest names in music including Fish, Marillion, The Blockheads and Midge Ure.
For a band with such pedigree behind them it is always refreshing to see them play in some of the smaller venues and in the intimacy of Alexanders in Chester they once more showed why their particular brand of rock has crossed the boundaries of the changing times and yet retained the dry, inherent wit that makes them such a good band to catch live.
Lead vocalist, John Dexter Jones , has always written deeply personal lyrics to the music created by his fellow members and in the opening track of the evenings small set was a favourite of a lot of Jump fans, the delightfully deep and sorrowful Bethesda from 2001’s On Impulse album
With new member Phil Mayhew on bass smiling his way through the set it was easily seen that the restorative power of adding a new member to the groups dynamic has enhanced the show. Phil played well alongside the established membership of guitarist Steve Hayes, keyboard player Mo, the very talented Andy Barker on drums and the youngest member of the group but none the less important, guitarist Steve “Ronnie” Rundle whose own playing just gets better and better as time goes by.
One of the great things about watching Jump live is watching the way Johns acts on stage, his actions to certain songs on such as tracks as A Man was Made and the brand new Kingston Corner Blues from the album The Beachcomber show his lyrics perfectly, with a raise of an eyebrow here and there he adds wonderful meaning to even the most innocent of lyrics.
The band ended a short but joyful set with the classic Free at Last, to which the appreciative crowd joined in with gusto.
Good to see this great British band touring the North West again and with any luck they will be back before their fans know it.
Ian D. Hall