JOKERS WILD, Greyhound, Fulham

LETS HEAR it for the little guys! Yeah, Jokers Wild are the kind of home-loving melodic rock band that make you feel as entertained as, say, Bon Jovi or Survivor do, Theirs is a class sound with highly effective blobs of angly melody and wicked amounts of raw energy. But hey, don’t go crying to mummy about how this is yet another British rock band trying to muscle their way onto the AOR gravy train. Oh no, Jokers Wild have got far more suss than to let that happen.

Like FM but unlike, say, Terraplane, what Jokers Wild have got going for them are great songs and a great vocalist. Stewing up a nice little hotch potch of brazen hard rock bravado and silky smooth schmaltz, the band played something in the region of fifteen or so songs without managing to bore. They even went so far as to keep me well away from the bar, not that it was particularly crowded you understand (the other punters were glued to the stage like me!) it just seemed like bad second choice!

Band leader and hot shot guitar player Robin Yates has, after quite a few false starts, finally assembled an ideal line-up for a band whose heritage I seem to recall stretches way back to the early ‘8Os (maybe even the late ‘70s!). They look good with neat stage clothes, not overtly ritzy in the Tigertailz mad cap fashion or unduly dull like the dismal clobber worn by Little Angels, just neat and kind of straight to the point.

The vocalist, whose name I can’t quite remember although a dicky bird whispered to me that he used to be in Bronze (after Max Bacon left), has a fantastic voice full of the gusto peddled by such luminaries as Joe Lynn Turner and Lou Gramm, but let’s get him teamed up with a tailor or two.

Plenty of high-grade songs to groove on down to, including a swell rendition of their recently released single ‘Don’t Fall In Love’, which had a few punters including yours truly falling over themselves in an effort to lend a wind pipe or two to the chorus. Neat keyboard touches and some fabulous and, let’s not beat around the bush here. sensitive drumming puts this song into a class of its own, beating the recorded version by a mile. Ditto their next single, finance pending. ‘The Simple Life’.

Yeah, it’s no secret that I’ve already pencilled this lot in for bigger and more impressive things. Given the right backing, some more prestigious gig supports and a record deal (indie or major, though I’d opt for the former at this stage), Jokers Wild will have little trouble attaining the heights reached by a multitude of similar acts and further to eventual stardom.

The seed of success has been sowed, so let’s cultivate the bugger.


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