Jizzy Pearl/Maverick – Ahoghill, The Diamond Rock Club – 25 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby   
Saturday, 01 April 2017 04:30

It had only been a couple of weeks since myself and herself had last seen Jizzy Pearl on this touring cycle to mark the 25th anniversary of the iconic ‘Wasted In America’ album. That had been at Hard Rock Hell. And normally we try to resist the temptation to watch the same artist twice in quick succession. But, working on the basis that HRH had been a festival show, and this was scheduled to be a full 90 minute set – and the place that Love/Hate occupied in my nascent music career – the decision was made to climb aboard the trusty beer bus and head into the County Antrim hills to see what course our road to rock ‘n’ roll distraction would take.


Maverick - DRC - March 2017


The popularity of local openers Maverick is clear to see, as the amount ‘Asylum’ T shirts (a reference to the lead single from last year’s second album, ‘Big Red’) is positively insane (sic). And the fact that the band were personally selected by Pearl to fill this support slot adds to the sense of occasion: the anticipation is heightened for your UR team by the fact that this will be the first time we have seen the band with new drummer Jonathan Millar at the tail end of last year.


Declaring that they are ‘All For One’, the five lads prove they are just that as they hit the stage hard, with their mix of classic sleaze and hard rock underpinned with the right degree of gritty grunt needed to make this particular style of music work best. Frontman Davy Balfour has the charisma and the flair to command stages much bigger than this, while, behind and beside him, the band are tight and acerbic in their delivery. Slick and accurate, Millar seems as much at home as the hobo who has been sleeping on their couch for the past 15 years, and has fitted into the band supremely well, while the other “youngster” in the band, guitarist Terry McHugh, rips up solo after solo, each of which is all the more effective for its brevity: no needless displays of wankery here, just hard-hitting slice of rock ‘n’ roll after hard-hitting slice of rock ‘n’ roll, just the way it should be.


Maverick - DRC 2


It’s another taut and well-practised set from a band who not only are great mates – something which comes across in every performance – but prove that this ol’ rock ‘n’ roll malarkey is ‘In Our Blood’ and probably will be ‘Forever’.




Maverick play the Siege Of Limerick on Sunday 16 April, Wildfest in Belgium on Saturday 13 May, Rockingham on Friday 20 October and Rock N Skull in Illinois on Saturday 28 October.


Jizzy Pearl - DRC 1


As mentioned at the top of this review, the last time DQ and myself had seen Jizzy Pearl was just a couple of weekends previously; then, it was in the setting of a big(gish) arena: this time, it is a small club, meaning that the man and his band are completely in our faces – and melting them off as an immediate result.


There’s a massive grunt to the bottom end of the sound, which gives them a massive kick in the proverbial posteriors, while Pearl is obviously having fun revisiting these songs from half a lifetime ago: songs written to be played in back street bars, subsequently transferred to the aforesaid arenas and now transported back to the bars, this time in the back side of nowhere! But, hey, that’s rock ‘n’ roll – and we fuckin’ love it!


And if anyone was expecting a mere formulaic run through of the album, well then Mr Wilkinson has a surprise for them as, just three songs into the set, he fucks with that formula of start at the beginning and play it through, by chucking a couple of tracks from the preceding ‘Blackout In The Red Room’ offering into the equation: well, it’s his album and his show, so I guess he can play the songs in any order he damn well wants… As he himself says “don’t fuck with me and I won’t fuck with you” – and that, people, pretty much sums it up!


Jizzy Pearl - DRC 2


The band are tight, even tighter than that night in Wales, and Pearl is in great form, even joking about his wife, who is in charge of the merch table at the back of the venue: “we’ve only got three T shirts left – once they’re sold she becomes a burden” he proclaims, before launching into a grunting, angry version of ‘Yucca Man’.


The intimacy of the setting draws out the pure punk fury of this decades-old material, as Pearl and his troubadours re-enact the early days of the Strip here in the heart of culchie-dom! As mentioned, the singer is obviously having a lot of fun revisiting those glory days, but at the same time trying to retro-fit his material to make sound fresh and relevant to the modern era – and, and by and large he has done a pretty decent job as he brings his rousing run through to a conclusion by taking his ‘Evil Twin’, dragging him through the nearby river and then punching him square in the face, and then declaring a ‘Blackout…’ as he brings the set to a suitably tumultuous finale.


Jizzy Pearl - DRC 3


There are those who argue that you shouldn’t live on past glories… well, tell that to the hundreds of artists that are doing just that, and extremely successfully, and no doubt will continue to do so as long as there are audiences baying from them to do it… In Jizzy Pearl’s case, with a new album on the way, I certainly won’t be fucking with him any time soon \m/


PHOTO CREDIT: All photos © The Dark Queen/ Über Rock.


Read our interview with Jizzy Pearl HERE.


Jizzy Pearl will return to the UK later in the year, to appear at the HRH Sleaze festival, which takes place at the O2 Academy in Sheffield over the weekend of 2 and 3 September.


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