JEROD

JANUARY 1988

JEROD – MARQUEE, LONDON

Their debut Marquee slot and, believe me, Over And Out have something special. Vocalist Jeanette is Irish and quite superb. In time she’ll have to ditch the ‘Rock Chick’ image, the mediocre Metal band and even the ‘let’s boogie’ raps. In twelve months she’ll be unstoppable! Her acid ballad, ‘Prove Me Wrong’, could be sheer genius. The rest is formula, adult Rock but still cannot detract from Jeanette’s presence, feel and, Goddammit, power! As I say, twelve months.

Much has been written about Terence Trent Jerod. He’s black, he plays a white Stratocaster upside-down and heads a three- piece Rock outfit. He must be Hendrix.

Crap!

I don’t want to insult the man’s talent or intelligence with such comparisons. Hendrix is dead, for Bernie Torme’s sake! Jerod is Soul. He has more conviction than the entire dance chart combined. He burns like a man reared on deep, Stax Motown. The grace of the compassionate and the angry. Jerod matters to this Rock circus.

The obligatory drum intro and they tumble headlong into ‘Charlie Boy’. Wrenching impossible licks and chords from his guitar with alarming disinterest, Jerod is far more than just another hybrid R & B child. There’s an edge to his playing and to such songs as ‘What 1 Want’ and ‘Never Stop Me Coming’. Here is furious urgency tempered with sensual humility.

When he shrugs off the guitar and walks amongst the crowd you just have to believe the guy. He doesn’t do this because it made Paul Hewson famous. He does it because he just wants you and me to believe him. He drags Jesus upon stage, shakes anybody’s hand and thanks his manager.

At times they suffer from the genre’s inherent indulgence, particularly in the drumming department. Maybe backing vocals would fill out the sound without hindering the lean delivery. Maybe if the bassist could move his face once in a while. Uncharitable gripes but nonetheless persistent.

Enough. In 1988 want a major label to shell Out big bucks for Jerod – the man and his music. So he used to play with Dexy’s Midnight Runners? C’mon, it paid the rent.

Enough. The spirit lives.

CHRIS WATTS

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