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Live Review: Jayce Lewis
London, Camden Barfly
He’s no stranger to wowing folks on the other side of the planet, but whilst Jayce Lewis may have a healthy career in Asia where he has been lauded by the likes of VH1 and regularly headlines shows out there, back on home turf things are somewhat different. His eponymous debut landed almost a year and a half ago to a respectable enough response, and a tour supporting the Godfather of Gloom himself, Mr Gary Numan, has kept Lewis in the semi-spotlight. To coincide with the release of his new Single ‘Electric Medicine’, Lewis finally gets to bring his rock / electronic hybrid to a packed Barfly.
As the precise staccato riffs of ‘Severe Sever’ play out, Lewis emerges, seemingly a hybrid of Andy LaPlegua and Gary Numan, banging his head and throwing shapes as if his life depended on it. It’s a respectful nod to the cyber fury of Fear Factory and it hits harder than anything Lewis has offered previously, hinting at a far heavier direction for the second album, which is due to land towards the end of the year.
Lewis is backed by a full band that can primarily be identified by their differing lengths of hair, though Lewis appears keen to showcase his versatility by flitting between guitar, drums and even keyboards at one point.
A psychotic ‘Electric Medicine’ see the madness take a hold and results in the keyboard player smacking himself in the head when not producing his overtures of doom. “This song’s about drugs…” explains Lewis before ‘Paradox kicks in, the distinct lack of clarity over whether the band are pro or con this contentious issue perhaps explaining the title, and whilst some songs can come across as a little sterile on the album, here they take on a dirt and vibrancy that grip a hold of the crowd who are clearly loving every minute of it.
The bass-heavy techno of ‘Revaluation’ is a short, sharp shock to the system that nicely amps up the crowd for ‘Icon’, which is as close to an anthem as exists in the repertoire as yet, but by not saving it for last there is a sense that maybe Lewis has shot his musical load somewhat early. Not to worry, though, as these fears are soon assuaged by another new track, ‘Wraith’, that, again, suggests a much darker hue to his latest material, before a triumphant cover of ‘Cry Little Sister’ see Lewis standing atop a monitor, guitar held high, a flash of Mercurial genius before disappearing into the night.
Words: Giles Moorhouse
Photo: Woolhouse Studios