From the dusty crates #5: JJ72

I'll admit it. JJ72 was one of the first bands I really fell in love with from the ground floor. First heard about them in Select, interviewed them before they headlined the Barfly, wrote some overly sycophantic reviews about their live shows, left the country right before their second album came out. Incidentally, that show of theirs where I interviewed them was when the Barfly was still at the Falcon, before it moved. Supporting them that night were My Vitriol, who may also appear in this column at some stage.

But JJ72 were a three-piece from Ireland who were only a few years older than me, had a sexy bass player, and knew how to do choruses. Also, the singer kinda sounded like a girl. I read a review at the time that said "This is the first band to listen to 'Everything Must Go' and think "Yeah, we can do that"", which probably explains their appeal to me at that time. In a few months, I saw them a lot of times and fell in love with them. Their faster songs were, and remain, okay, but they wrote some really great slow and pretty songs, that still hold up. Supporting the Dandy Warhols at the Astoria, the Reading Festival, two nights at ULU, a couple of other times that I can't remember. I was head over heels. The rest of the world, not as much. I remember other writers for my site saying "The guy sounds like a girl and all their songs sound the same" which was a pretty valid criticism. Also, when playing live, he'd always - always - smash a guitar at the end of set closer 'Bumble Bee', which came off as contrived after the seventh time of seeing it.

By the time they headlined the NME Tour (supported by Amen, Alfie and Starsailor - yikes) even I had grown bored. Or more likely, found a newer band to get behind. The band's second album 'I To Sky' came out very soon after I left for the U.S. and after that they broke up. Mark Greaney started a new band called Concerto for Constantine, with a dude who was in Idlewild, but I don't know anything about them.

[download JJ72 - Undercover Angel]
[download JJ72 - Willow]


Anonymous said...

I remember John doing a rant about the song Oxygen which included a a diatribe about "Try telling those Russian sailors you don't need f***ing oxygen".

I have fond memories of the day before i left Manchester for good when it snowed for the first time in 3 years and I played Snow very loudly until my housemates threatened to hit me. I think, on reflection, they had a valid point.

I really like this series of columns.


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