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JESUS JONES Right Then, Right Now

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 “I thought Right Here, Right Now is a real cop-out of a title, or it kind of needs a bit more thought, a bit more effort. I just want everyone to know that that song is not finished.”

Twenty-four years on from the release of their seminal dance-rock album, Doubt, Jesus Jones will appear at the Rosemount Hotel on Sunday, March 15, playing the album from start to finish. SHANE PINNEGAR explores the album’s legacy with singer/guitarist and cycling enthusiast, Mike Edwards.

Boasting the hit singles International Bright Young Thing and Right Here, Right NowDoubt was a number one album in the UK, and top 25 in the US and Australia.

With its themes of optimism during troubling times, and the latter single capturing the emotional impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the album struck a chord with people around the world.

“I’d say that that would have to be a part of it, at least in some respects,” asserts Mike Edwards, the primary songwriter in the band. “I do think, musically, it is very much of its time – which of course is a double-edged sword because it made it very topical and very popular right then, but it dated very quickly.

“I think that musically because we were very zeitgeist-ey, we were looking around at what was happening in kind of the outer reaches in music and bringing it in towards the mainstream, and I think that it maybe caught the wave, if you see what I mean. It was definitely part of the time – we reflected the time, I’d say.

“And obviously, that approach stuck with me, which is why Perverse not only sounds the way it does,” he continues, talking about Doubt’s follow-up, “but has the lyrical themes that it does, including the now quaintly amusing idea that the internet might actually be quite an interesting thing. Zeroes And Ones, the song, is very hard to sing with a straight face these days.”

Despite Right Here, Right Now’s zeitgeist-hitting punch and rewarding success, Edwards says he was never completely happy with the song.

“I like to say it keeps me in bicycle inner tubes,” he says with a laugh, “but it’s one of those songs, that I haven’t got around to finishing yet. I thought Right Here, Right Now is a real cop-out of a title, or it kind of needs a bit more thought, a bit more effort. I just want everyone to know that that song is not finished. Maybe 20 years from now I’ll come up with a better title!

“It’s funny how it came about because it was just written very quickly in a dingy little rented flat in North London. I’m glad: I had no idea the impact that it would have on my life. It would have messed things up had I known.”

Almost a quarter century on from the album’s recording, Edwards says there’s been a few updates in the way the band play the songs from Doubt.

“Actually, we have updated some arrangements. That’s by and large because when I went back and listened to the album, I thought, ‘there’s some of these songs here, that I don’t think are any good at all’. So there’s at least one song that’s radically altered. Sometimes the songs, when we listen to them now, they lend themselves to an arrangement that reflects more modern music.

“Some of the arrangements have quite a strong dubstep influence because I listen to a lot of that these days. But the hits are all as they were, the other songs, we like to have a bit of fun with them. I don’t think people come with such great expectations, so we have a lot more life to make them more enjoyable for us and the audience.”

Another thing that’s changed is the band’s style, with Edwards cringing at the thought of their haircuts and fashion sense back in the early ‘90s.

“Dear God, I would hope so!” he laughs. “They’re not necessarily any better, as time will no doubt tell, but yeah, I can’t look back at our old videos.

“It was fun to do (1992 single)The Devil You Know video, actually,” he continues, “because we felt we had been pushed right out to extreme, and anytime you feel you’re that far out on an edge, it’s going to be pretty drastic. The director, Zana, was a very focused, driven person, which is great because she had a strong vision for what she wanted from us, and it was not our vision, which was perfect for us at the time, but it pushed us way out of our comfort zone, so I kind of liked that, actually. That’s the thing, we definitely stuck our heads above well above the parapet with that one.”