Even pouring rain couldn’t keep a sell-out crowd away from The Joiners, one of Southampton’s most historic music venues. It’s a bit of a local institution, with live music every night and an intimate vibe.
We were there to see four bands, headlined by Bolton band Jordan Allen. First up was homegrown four-piece Posh Ellen, who started things off nicely with their brand of laddy raucous rock, including new EP single Maddie.
Next on stage was Seven Cities, who have supported JA throughout their tour. Conjuring the stadium sounds of Imagine Dragons or 30 Seconds to Mars, the Dawlish-based boys got the crowd’s attention with great harmonies and pounding bass.
Then it was the turn of another local band, teen quartet The Edit. They may be young, but if their lively indie set was anything to go by, they could be on their way to great things.
With the crowd ready for the main event, Jordan Allen took to the stage. I have to admit to not knowing much about them before the gig, but it didn’t take long for them to win me over.
JA are named for frontman Jordan, but as a whole, the band’s instrumental prowess more than matches his natural on-stage charisma. Their UK winter tour has taken the boys up and down the country, delighting loyal fans and earning new ones with their sardonic humour, anthemic choruses and infectious riffs.
They kicked off with Imperial Leather Drama, a great introduction to the hugely relatable and witty lyrics they’re known for. The sound is all their own, but fans of The Libertines, Jamie T and Arctic Monkeys would do well to check them out.
Jordan himself is a consummate showman, chatting to the crowd between every song, sharing insights and getting the whole venue involved. He’s spoken widely about the influence his late dad had on his love for music, and his tribute to him through the bittersweet 110 Ways to Make Things Better, proceeds of which are going to the Brain Tumour Charity, was a poignant moment.
Fan favourites Helter Skelter and Dancing in the Dark got us all singing and dancing along, and Jordan’s hop down into the crowd to get in amongst it went down a storm. They finished with current single R.O.S.I.E, an outrageously catchy ode to unrequited love that had the whole room chanting its chorus. A guest tambourine slot from a lucky audience member got more and more of the crowd up on stage with the boys, which is exactly what Jordan Allen are all about.
Words and Photos by Liz Parsons