Review: Jane’s Addiction, O2 Academy Brixton...
From London Evening Standard
In 1988 Jane’s Addiction’s second album, Nothing’s Shocking, failed to make the Top 100 on either side of the Atlantic. Twenty six years and over a million sales later, Nothing’s Shocking’s still-shocking marriage of sleaze, energy and craft, was the moment alternative rock snorkelled into the mainstream.
With the band on recording hiatus, leader Perry Farrell has decided to right an old wrong. So, last night – the first half of a far-from-arduous two-date English tour – three of the four who made Nothing’s Shocking unfurled it in its correct running order to a crowd, who were less gorging themselves on a feast of nostalgia, more experiencing a past they never had.
Nothing’s Shocking remains extraordinarily powerful work and the determinedly hedonistic Los Angelenos who made it have aged extraordinarily well. Stephen Perkins still drums like a musclebound monster; 47-year-old guitar wizard Dave Navarro played the entire show topless, but, just as it always did, everything revolved around Farrell.
Before he also went topless in the encore, Farrell proved that 55-year-old vest-wearing men need not resemble Rab C. Nesbitt. Garrulous, camp, and juvenile (unsurprisingly, asking “any virgins in the audience?” proved not to be the starting point for a call and response), he moved like Jar Jar Binks. Yet, as befits one of the great, charismatic frontmen, Farrell’s whole is more than the sum of his parts. His traffic-stopping voice, a howl on Ocean Size, more considered on Jane Says has gained depth without sacrificing power.
After Nothing’s Shocking, they dipped into their slender back catalogue. Been Caught Stealing was the closest they ever came to pop and if having glamorous “suspension artists” dangling above the stage during the percussion-heavy finale, Chip Away, was more awkward than alluring, this evening went some way to reclaiming a great lost album from a great lost band.