Updated: Oct 5
As far as cover bands go, you’ve got the entire cream of the crop in The Jaded Hearts Club; more than a tribute, it may be appropriate to christen them a supergroup. We’re talking about the union of musical stalwarts Nic Cester of Jet and The Last Shadow Puppets’ Miles Kane on vocals, guitarists Graham Coxon from Blur and Jamie Davis, plus Matt Bellamy of Muse on bass, and drummer Sean Payne from the Zutons; enough to cook up a sonic feast for the ears. Where it is understood that it’s all great fun, the abilities and output from the collective render it beyond class. Friday, October 2nd sees the release of their debut LP You’ve always Been Here, enabling many generations of rock and roll adorers to absorb their version of classics.
The tale goes that the like-minded outfit was born accidentally somewhat as Davis sought a Beatles tribute band for a party but to no avail. Step up his British musician pals living in L.A., who managed to keep their new mission a secret. It was a roaring success, to say the least, and led to that overwhelming feeling in the tummy that they must to do it again and again. A Stella McCartney fashion show, where their hero Paul himself graced the stage, an SXSW gig, and a support slot for Rodger Daltry, led to their repertoire expanding and the idea that this idea could become an enchanting reality.
Due to a cancelled Spring tour, the lads needed a pick me up and a way to keep the Hearts beating in unison. Bellamy adds,
“Jamie and I were FaceTiming a lot discussing how or even if we could carry on during lockdown, and we kept sending each other links to song ideas. We eventually stumbled across the legendary live performance ‘Reach Out’ by The Four Tops in Paris in 1967, which touched a deep nerve. It was pure joy and uplifting energy - exactly what we needed to hear during the darkest initial few weeks of lockdown, so we decided to try and do a cover of it somehow with our band members spread across three countries”.
Feeling productive, it was Bellamy who started proceedings with Reach Out, as he produced the iconic striking opening and dominating, power bass. This was passed to the bright lights of Hollywood to fellow Muse band member Dom Howard for drums, Coxon for guitar, and then to Italy for Cester’s vocals. Bellamy and Cester shared backing vocal duties, which had more complexities than first imagined. Their version isn’t close to a carbon copy, and creates an intriguing little hybrid of soul grove and rock sounds; it’s splendid. Its predecessor is prevalent We’ll Meet Again: a simple crackle piano number, sung by Bellamy, conjuring up an image of a beautiful retro silver microphone.
There are many moods investigated and colours painted. For instance, sexier number I Put A Spell On You is a thrashing, intense piece, where the guitar speaks to you in volumes, almost acting like a voice singing a duet with Cester. Fever ends the record simply, almost in a whisper, with those sumptuous key changes in the tune retained. Poppier up-tempo numbers express that 60’s Cavern sound with Kane’s voice well suited to the style and cheeky feels of Have Love Will Travel, lead sunny single Nobody But Me, and the much different take on the original Money.
That grit and coolness of Get Carter is to be found in the deeper tones, considerable tension, and echoing drums in This Love Starved Heart Of Mine (It’s Killing Me), and Long And Lonesome Night. Northern Soul Classics When The Love Is Gone and Loves Gone Bad add the final flavour to our trip, delivering a togetherness, dance floor spirit, where the instruments have an equal and joyous part to play.
Marvin Gaye, The Isley Brothers, Nina Simone, and more have been given respectful treatment in the making of this thoroughly delicious album. The beauty lies in the way that the songs include elements from the hugely accomplished bands that the Hearts are members of; there is a distinguished mix full of freshness and playfulness. I recalled the spirit of The Commitments when listening and will end with this quote to summerise: Soul is the music people understand. Sure it's basic, and it's simple. But it's something else 'cause, 'cause, 'cause it's honest, that's it. It's honest.
Article by Beverley Knight