Jess and The Bandits

Here We Go Again

AMG Entertainment 

Jess and The Bandits are a new country outfit which is 1/5 Texan with lead singer Jessica Clemmons from Houston and 4/5 British with established musicians Dave Troke (bass), Steven Reid Williams (guitar) and the Ricardi Brothers Louis (guitar, harmonica) and Ricci (drums) who I remember  in the early days of The Bedford in Balham with Tony Moore. Their sound is more on the rockier side of country rock as opener ‘Ready Set’ proves with its radio-friendly chorus. ‘Love Like That’ reminds me of the song ‘Remind Me’ by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood in terms of vocal tone and delivery.

‘Wanted Man’ has electric guitar that echoes  and feels like Robbie Williams with a Stetson due to the intro as I can here ‘Let me Entertain You’. The bass and drums are really great here though. ‘Nitty Gritty’ is something of an empowerment anthem about what’s on the inside and has a pleasant guitar solo. I’m curious if Jess likes Kelly Clarkson and her early work like ‘Miss Independent’. ‘What If’ is well played and has some pedal steel to give it that real country flavour. ‘My Name Is Trouble’ features a clapping intro and has very witty lyrics such as ‘I’m not your momma’ which does make you smile when you listen to it. ‘Drunk On Me’ is a really clever title but it sounds too much like the previous lyrics which is quite a shame. When I listen to this album it does make me wonder how much kissing goes on but anyway…

Title track ‘Here We Go Again’ shows us a tender side to Jess and The Bandits and it is extremely listenable and I think it is fantastic and as much as I love a fast and lively track I wish the rest of this album was more like this. It not only allows the band to open up more but it is lyrically impactful. ‘Single Tonight’ involves Jess being in an awkward situation with a man in a pinstripe suit and a cowboy hat. Admittedly its not my favourite track on this album but as it is technically well done I can understand why people would enjoy it.

‘Wichita Lineman’ is a highlight and I would definitely like to hear this live as it is a very soft song with subtle piano which is memorable for all of the right reasons. In conclusion, I understand that you should write about what you know (I am glad Jess isn’t singing about trains, saloons and gunfights) but the relationship content in the material as a whole feels very formulaic. Having said that, it is a really enjoyable debut album but  it is enjoyable because of the musicianship and vocal talent and not the songs.

I would like to see this act live though as emotion comes through more in a live performance than on a recorded piece of work. Especially as I know how talented the Ricardi brothers are live. Looking forward to their festival and headline appearances.

Glenn Sargeant

Jess and The Bandits debut album ‘Here We Go Again’ is out now. Jess and The Bandits are performing the following shows in the UK and Ireland this year:

Saturday 11th July- Cornbury Festival, The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

Monday 13th July- Robin Park Arena, Wigan, United Kingdom www.

18th July- Summertyne Festival (co-headline with Callaghan), The Sage, Gateshead, United Kingdom

Saturday 25th July- Ramblin Man Fair, Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent, United Kingdom

Friday 4th September- Cottingham Folk Festival (Supporting The Shires), Driffield, Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom 

Friday 16th October- Live at The FSA Festival, Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom 

Saturday 24th October- Whelan’s (Headline Show), Dublin, Ireland

Tuesday 27th October- The Louisiana (Headline Show), Bristol, United Kingdom

Wednesday 28th October- The Borderline (Headline Show), London, United Kingdom

Thursday 29th October- Brudenell Social Club (Headline Show), Leeds, United Kingdom

Friday 30th October- Gullivers (Headline Show), Manchester, United Kingdom

Saturday 31st October- King Tuts(Headline Show), Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Saturday 21st November- Live at The Plus Size Fashion Awards

Saturday 18th June 2016- Towerfest, Durham, United Kingdom 

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