SO, without the backing of her former beloved ‘Licks’ could Juliette Lewis still cut it as one of the ballsiest rock n roll gals on the planet? . . . Yeah, course she can!
Her new band, the New Romantiques, may not carry the strength in depth of her previous backing combo who I saw at Leeds Met a few years ago, (the split was amicable and ended due to touring commitments) but Juliette’s ‘in your face unsublety’ was absolutely majestic.
Sporting a new choppy shorter haircut and an outfit festooned with feathers, she stopped off in Manchester on a mini-tour of Britain after the release of her latest album Terra Incognita – produced by Omar Rodriguez Lopez of the Mars Volta.
Now, while that’s taken me a few listens to break it in (I thought it a bit lacklustre at first), hearing the added intensity Juliette gave it on stage was sublime.
Her set-list was inspired, bleeding the ‘Licks’ classics such as You're Speaking My Language, Long Road Out of Here, Purgatory Blues and Smash and Grab with her new, slightly more intimate tunes from the new album – the bluesy Hard Lovin’ Woman to Suicide Dive Bombers – gave the gig added injection when old Juliette fans’ minds may been wandering sentimentally back the Licks.
But she saved the best until last, coming back soaked to the skin, to belt out Hot Kiss.
A Juliette Lewis gig isn’t like any old gig – the way she interacts with the crowd it becomes an almost personal experience. It’s like a reunion with an older sister, someone who would punch the lights out of your playground bully.
Instead she beats your senses to a pulp with energy, showmanship and attitude that is second-to-none.
Come back soon.