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Jukes Boss the stage.

REVIEW Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes ROBIN, BILSTON IT'S a mighty long way from the New Jersey shoreline to downtown Bilston - but Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes bridge the geographical and cultural divide effortlessly.

SJ and the Jukes have been regulars at the Robin down the years, and the intimate vibe of the this small venue perfectly suits the men often described as America's best bar band.

Backed by a blistering horn section and an array of top-notch musicians, Southside, who began life as Bruce Springsteen's sidekick on the Asbury Park stage scene back in the 70s, has few equals as a live performer, even as he pushes into his mid-sixties.

Much of the Jukes' repertoire was penned by Stevie Van Zandt of E Street Band fame, and that distinct Springsteen style is never far from the surface, along with all the Stax, Motown and R and B influences.

Southside is an unashamed stage ham and the audience banter is all part of the act. But it's the music that counts above all else and the Southside canon wears as well as anyone's, even after around four decades.

A glorious Without Love was interspersed with a slice of the Temptations' Just My Imagination, I Don't Want To Go Home was its usual soulful self, and a highlight was the old Valentinos classic Looking For a Love in tribute to the recently deceased Bobby Womack. It was as good as the wonderful J Geils Band version all those years ago and that says it all.

HHHHI JON GRIFFIN
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 9, 2014
Words:259
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