Record Overplayed
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The Jeevas | Middlesbrough Empire | 05/10/02

Once Upon A Time In Middlesbrough...

Gig Review by Dawn
/ Photo courtesy of TheJeevas.com

It has to be said that Crispian Mills is a slightly strange character. With a moptop hairstyle straight out of the Sixties and retro riffs a-plenty, the first impression you get of the former king of Kula Shaker is that he’d be more at home were the charts still occupied by The Beatles and The Kinks, or perhaps Bowie and T-Rex. Furthermore, the courteous, placid, public schoolboy demeanour of the offstage Mills completely belies that of the energetic, guitar-wielding maniac who stalks around the stage wearing a Rolling Stones t-shirt and, naturally, the obligatory rock star shades.

Thank the lord, then, that The Jeevas at least have some impressive rock ‘n’ roll gems in their repertoire to ensure that his efforts aren’t totally in vain - the singles Virginia and Ghost (Cowboys In The Movies) plus an Undertones cover being spectacular highlights of an invigorating set. And despite ex-Straw boys Andy and Dan being somewhat overshadowed by Crispian’s extrovert antics and note-perfect vocals, they obviously enjoy the experience just as much as their blond companion – a fact confirmed by the size of the grin on the face of Julian Casablancas-lookalike drummer Andy.

With this in mind, it was a shame that the biggest cheers of the night were saved for the resurrection of Kula Shaker favourites Hush and Hey Dude simply because of their familiarity; several of The Jeevas’ own tunes are at least as good, if not better, as anyone who owns their album will know.

With driving melodies as strong as theirs, The Jeevas deserve to be bigger than all of the members’ former bands put together. But if all else fails, Crispian can be safe in the knowledge that he always has a Kula Shaker revival to fall back on.

With thanks to Maureen.

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