"It's really horrible," says Farrell. "You work your whole life to do something, you borrow lots of money to get here, you travel hours across the ocean, you prepare and you prepare, and then (pause) you get there and they don't even give you a soundcheck. It's not all it's cracked up to be. I mean, it was our first show in Europe. I didn't even have any monitors on."
It was Brixton's goth night and Jane's were on with Fields of Nephilm. Some fan hauled Perry offstage and cracked his rib.
Here's a review of the show originally published in Kerrang magazine.
SHOCK TO THE ART.
Jane's Addiction, Brixton Academy, London.
IF JANE was addicted then her addiction ran to breeze-blocks and bombast. Y'see Jane had a rock n' roll band and called it "any kind of band". Jane didn't really know where to begin, but a guitar seemed as good a place as any. They added a whole bunch of stuff and took off. Well, Jane's now a little weird.
Tonight, Jane's Addiction were bloody superb.
Tonight, Jane's Addiction were bloody awful.
There are problems with technology. Perry Farrell doesn't move as people kick his monitors. He stands ragged and probably embarrassed. He says nothing. He's about to hit someone.
But when Jane's Addiction open out their fields of music, jump-shouting into demented life, these problems really fade. In the end it really didn't matter that Jane's Addiction over ran and had to play their encore in the dark.
Somewhere in this chaos there could be genius. They ignore the standards of rock performance yet lividly embrace the atmospherics. There are no stars, but Farrell grabs their attention. A vocal acrobat rather than a 'singer', he makes his raw noise through an FX rack and madly sends the signals haywire. The resulting undertow is shrieking and growling, utterly compelling to witness like a nightbus mugging.
David Navarro is a guitarist in the way Santana isn't. He probably couldn't give you an E. Yet within the new boundaries of Jane he is a central pivot to the sound. Sometimes jarring, sometimes ugly, always human. Like anyone else he cannot resist taking the spotlight for one solo that both defied and defined guitar playing for a new breed.
The bass is slogging and relentless, the drums crisp and adaptable. In another setting it could be Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen up there. Together they build and destroy a massive wall of noise without so much as a smile.
Yes, Jane's are an important band. Probably because they have a live identity that is unique and they come from LA without a suntan. Jane's Addiction (title of the decade) are dark, dangerous and decidedly devious.
Look, you should have been there.
thanks again to Gaby for sending me this
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