Review: Boots Electric//September 19th.

Jesse Hughes is best known as the front man (and co-founder) of the rock band Eagles of Death Metal. However, he has taken a side-step from this for his new side project, an idea that he has considered for a long time and finally decided put into practice. Under the pseudonym of ‘Boots Electric’, Jesse presents us with something a little different.

Tonight is a very special show for ‘Boots’. Not only is it Jesse’s birthday today, but (as if he needs another excuse to celebrate) this is also an album release party of sorts: Boots Electric’s debut album Honkey Kong is released on 20th September, the day after the show. Boots has come to London’s intimate venue XOYO tonight in honour of the occasion for a one-off UK show on his European tour, much to the delight of his fans.

Hitting the stage at 9:30, the very first thing Boots does is make his way along the front of the stage, from one end to the other, giving out hugs and kisses to lucky audience members at the front of the crowd. Jesse is well-known and well-loved amongst fans for his enthusiastic interaction with the audience at shows, and it immediately sets an atmosphere of excitement for the rest of the evening: it seems clear that this show is going to be a good one.

Boots and his band then launch into their first number. They play through a set full of upbeat, high-energy songs, mixing electro elements with good old rock’n’roll. Although the fans cannot be familiar with many of Boots Electric’s songs, as the album is yet to be released, this does not stop them having a great time; practically everyone in sight is dancing and seems to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. Jesse is a fantastic entertainer and a charismatic front man, and his crowd interaction makes everybody feel part of the gig. Fans show particular enthusiasm when Boots performs a few Eagles of Death Metal numbers, including 2004’s Speaking in Tongues.

At one point, crew members emerge from backstage with a rather large birthday cake for Jesse, and immediately the crowd begins to sing ‘happy birthday’ with them; then, after Jesse blows out the candles, the crowd spontaneously starts chanting: ‘we love you Jesse, we do … oh, Jesse we love you’, causing the front man to get ‘all emotional’, proclaiming that this is one of the sweetest things that has ever been done for him.

After almost an hour’s worth of music, Boots declares that he was told twenty minutes ago that he was only allowed to play one more song, and that he responded with “hell no!”; he then gets the crowd chanting “hell no!” back at him before continuing to play several more numbers. When the night eventually draws to a close, the energy in the room is still sky-high and the crowd is left wanting more. Tonight will no doubt be a night to remember for all fans lucky enough to be here.

To view our photo set from the show, go here and to check out review of ‘Honkey Kong’ go here.

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