It was certainly a pleasant surprise to hear Thee Hypnotics had reformed for a tour to support the release of a new boxset.
There was an expectant crowd in The Wedgewood Rooms to see if the band still had the power and fire, which I recalled from their shows I saw in the late ’80s.
And from the opening chords of Soul Trader it was clear they has lost none of it.
Lead singer Jim Jones is the eternal Peter Pan of garage rock. In recent years he has ploughed a career in rock with his eponymous bands, The Jim Jones Revue and now Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind, but the calling came after 20 years, to get the old band back together for a raucous night of steam hammer rock’n’roll.
It was an immense sound driven by guitarist Ray Hanson, bassist Jeremy Cottingham and drummer Phil Smith, taking time out from his teaching career – indeed the tour has had to be planned round the school holidays.
Jim Jones is a consumate frontman, part Mick Jagger, part James Brown, oozing with confidence and arrogance, imploring the crowd to become part of the party which indeed they did, giving the band a rapturous reaction.
The night finished with a combustible Justice In Freedom, and my ears are still ringing.