Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong; Soho Revue Bar, London, Wednesday September 12
Cheese-cutter cheekbones, pixie shoes,and a whole lotta doo-wop Joe-ing on
They may be the freshest and most downright sizzling young pop pretenders currently grasping at the rungs of the indie ladder of glory, but it’s no secret that Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong’s eponymous frontman has been around the block a few times. To swiftly recap: ‘Joe Lean’ is actually the intersexual stage name of a certain Joe Beaumont, whose performance schizophrenia has lead to him drumming on The Pipettes’ vintage sway-abouts as Robin Of Loxley, and doing a turn as creepy-but-dim, Teutonic-sounding indie boy Joe Van Moyland in Peep Show.
The Lean moniker seems to have finally provided young Joe with the niche he needs, though: a beanpole rockstar with a mop-top that looks like the fake Beatles wigs which were popular in the 1960s world of naff merch. With bone structure to murder for, delicate clothes and spindly arms poking out of his too-short shirt sleeves, Joe is one seriously sharp guy, and the rest of his be-suited band are doing their best to follow his sartorial lead.
The hip-shaking begins with the classic bop of ‘Lucio Starts Fires’ and doesn’t let up, racing through to the soft-shoe shuffle of ‘Without You’ and the beating heart shout-pop of ‘Tonight’, with Joe busting out some truly bonkers dance moves, wriggling about like Jack Peñate with some especially disgruntled ants in his pants. ‘I Ain’t Sure’ sees him break out from behind the mic stand to indulge in some swoonsome teen idol tomfoolery, before Joe tests out some of his comedy banter on the crowd, recounting his band’s recent songwriting recce to Sweden. “The record company decided we were going to spend all our money on crack,” he starts, “and we tried to, but crack’s hard to come by in Sweden.”
Tittersome wisecracks, tip-top tunes and more style than you can shake a stick at? Jing Jang Jong: welcome to the world of rock’n’roll.