Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong / The Voluntary Butler Scheme - 53 Degrees Preston - 12.5.08
The Voluntary Butler Scheme is actually just one person, an unassuming shy young man from Birmingham called Rob. He's a virtuoso multi instumentalist singer songwriter and like KT Tunstall he uses a loop and many effects pedals to record as he plays along live with his own backing vocals, aboriginal style chanting or instrumentation. For his first song he appears crippingly shy, eyes shut and hair covering his face as he played the keys and sings a wonderfully whimsical song. The first raw of the crowd mainly young excitable girls clap along majestically as the Voluntary Butler Scheme plays a tiny guitar and kazoo on "The Eiffel Tower and The BT Tower" which mixes the eccentricity of Beck with the down to earth simplicity of Badly Drawn Boy. Like a good butler he delivers excellent service with impeccable attention to detail. Whether playing guitar or a tiny little drum he looses himself in the music with lyrics recalling the child like innocence of Scouting For Girls. Amazing still unsigned the Voluntary Butler Scheme has a treasure trov e of musical gems in his reportoire and he's a real find, a veritable true original. Half an hour simply isnt long enough. Check him out on his myspace and see him perform live.
This is Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jongs second headliner tour of the year and it's only may. Life on the road has certainly tightened the band and given them even more confidence. Joe Leans dancing is even more care free and natural, his vocal more commanding and his Jing Jang Jong while an odd looking bunch with the strangest of haircuts are superb musicians. There's plenty of visual and musical highlights to wet the appetite tonight. There's a tribute to Dick Dale style surf guitar in opener "Tough T" and chunky bass player Panda having his name shouted at him by a fanatic fan. Joe Lean's brother bummer the drummer is a tub thumping manic man of rythmic cool but its the skill in songwriting and performance that really grabs our attention. "Lonely Buoy", "Dear Rose" and "Lucio Starts Fires" all reflect on the frustrations and disappointments life throws as us rounded off with memorable tunes and guitars in the spirit of Johnny Marr.
Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong are anything but boring and deliver a sterling twelve song set just under 45 minutes. If only more indie bands put this much effort into their music. The unreleased debut album cant come quickly enough
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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