JJ72: Osaka Club Quattro

JJ72 relieve tension the only way they know - by smashing things up...

Brutally efficient and emotionally repressed, JJ72 take the stage and the audience on their terms. No razor is sharp enough to trim any fat off this show.

Hardly two words of thanks pass Mark Greaney’s taught lips. Hilary Woods once or twice manages a coy smile. Fergal Matthews at least allows himself the pleasure of mouthing a few lyrics while he pounds Hades out of the drum kit. An expression of youthful exuberance this is not. It’s more than just their clothes that are black tonight.

The pressure builds over the course of the night, from ‘Long Way South’ early in the set through to ‘Algeria’ (as stirring a way to sing about everlasting winters) and finally to a brilliant version of ‘Oxygen’. Then in ‘Bumble Bee’ some of the strain is released with the violent dismembering of Greaney’s guitar.

The post-gig scramble for memorabilia is manic. Young admirers pull each other’s hair out to get a shot at splinters of shattered guitar and set lists. It seems that the complete lack of verbal engagement with the crowd disappointed few. Don’t misunderstand that act as the abandonment of rock’n’roll success: it is the manifestation of an intense need to fulfil expectation and convince people of the sincerity of the emotion. They mean it. They really mean it.

Bryan Scruby