Kerrang Issue 286 April 1990

ST. JAIMZ, BOYS TOWN Queens Hall, Bradford
BOYSTOWN have a mission. The’ New Jersey syndicate led by David Poleman are coming in out of the backwoods with all the determination of every blue-collar worker that they claim to represent. Bradford, Poleman remarks, is the kind of place Boystown-belong.

Equal parts Roger Daltey, Bryan Adams and Henry Winkler, Poleman has taken a blow-torch to AOR. Not for him the divvy syrup of Michael Bolton or Phil Collins, Boystown instead touch on Springsteen, sometimes Bon Jovi, and often Bryan Adams.

There are enormous, spirited songs of oppression and abuse from the heart of smalltown America. ‘Kiss your children, hold on to your girl/Then close your eyes, that’s the way of the world’, Poleman sings on their anthemic seven-inch ‘Way Of The World’, and they are sentiments echoed throughout Boystown’s set.

‘All Inside My Head’ successfully captures the desperation of the Boss’ ‘Thunder Road’ and ‘Dancing In The Dark’, stripped down to the bare bones of guitar-toutin’ concern. With bassist Joey Sykes and guitarist John Teto supplying backing vocals, Boystown near perfection on ‘Oil & Water’ and ‘Heart Full Of Rain’.

So go away and swallow Boystown’s conscience and four- minute formula of evocative composition. They may look like an ad man’s wet dream but their three chords run deeper. So there.

In comparison Steevi St Jaimz is a ropy old tart, still hamming out the wheezing windbag of ‘Ragamuffin’ as if anyone really gave a s**t that he was once the arrogant and self-proclaimed demi-god of Tigertailz.

Steevi St Jaimz’s new carcass is the same cartoon make-up explosion that the World forgot. Naturally he still aspires to be part-Iggy, part-Lee Roth, a midget nightmare of mawkish tantrum. But Steevi St Jaimz is merely an attitude problem gone berserk.

His band skid in their booties across their master’s stage like end-of-season lemmings, belting out the three-minute bubblegum splatter of ‘Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ and ‘Kick That Habit’ like they really want to be somewhere else. I don’t blame them.

As a final gesture St Jaimz turns Lizzy’s Cold Sweat’ into, pantomime and rolls on his back in a pool of water. Stay there, jerk.

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