Short feature on Jeff Jinx for the Music Review Unsigned magazine…
Alliteration is a great thing when you’re a fame-hungry singer out chasing favourable reviews and notoriety like Harry Potter zooming after the Golden Snitch. Indeed, if real-life were more like Hogwarts, perhaps world-renown would be as easy trampoline-ing in the dark with a fishing net and trying to catch the stars. Except, of course, it’s not. And in the absence of the all-coveted one-word monikers brought about through global success – think Florence, Madonna and Ms. Gaga – then an alliterated name is the next best thing. It’s snappy. It rolls off the tongue and seeds in the everyday blog reader’s brain.
Except Jeff Jinx isn’t Jinx’s real name. In fact, He’s Jeff Myers and while I have no reason to believe he’s any relation to Mike Myers, the creator and star of hit movie franchise Austin Powers, there’s certainly a touch of similarity between the pair: one is a cryogenically unfrozen cold-war spy from the 1970s while the other, Mr. Jinx, is a glamorous, David Bowie-esque musician who’s been gigging since 1978. I never said the similarity was great or striking but it’s certainly there.
Except I’m swimming in deep-waters now: Jinx is a guest writer over at Independent Music News and will no doubt be writing a few stern letters about his highly glam look being mentioned in the same sentence as a goofy film spy famed for his bad teeth. Oh well.
The Camden pop band Tribes might have been referred to, as a throwback to 1970s glam rock but the guys never got the look entirely correct. Jinx however has got the look down to a tee – a tight-tee paired with black pants. His face is a powdered alabaster white, and his eyes are rimmed with black makeup that creeps all the way up to his eyebrows. His hair is black and while it’s neither long nor spiky, it doesn’t sit floppy or pancake-flat on his head. Instead it tufts up and juts out which gives him that slightly aforementioned Bowie-air.
Jeff Jinx and his various, previous bands might sound unfamiliar – Dead Horses, Generation X, Cliché, Stranded and Jeff Jinx and The Gems – but the man’s past has been colourful and varied. He’s gigged with Clem Burke of the American group Blondie and formed Dead Horses with former-Sex Pistol, Glenn Matlock. In 1982, Jinx started I Am Alone with his previous Cliché band member, John Watters, and this time Jinx wrote all his own material.
Of course all starting bands dream of being spotted by big musicians but thirty years ago I Am Alone performed in London’s The Embassy Club and entertained some of the modern-day granddaddies of rock and pop. The Police were on their guest list and their pay-in audience members included Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy and Lemmy, the lead singer with Motorhead.
But Jinx, the perennial music nomad did not stay with I Am Alone and moved into other bands and projects including, Memory Plastic and Mr Myers Place. He similarly tried his hand at writing, and kick-started an art career designing LP sleeves and magazine covers. On his list of achievements, Jinx counts a glowing review from Q magazine who wrote, “This guy hollers loud and full like an opera singer and the band are subordinate to him.” As a music writer, would Jinx have said it any differently?
The sound is all about the voice, which bellows from start to finish. Only in Dreams kicks off loud and howling and only backs down at the chorus of Jinx’s “Only In Dreams” trill. Childstar Factory on the other hand, which is featured on Independent Music News’ Indie Artists of 2012, captures Jinx’s high-pitched, sonorous voice and envelops it in a blanket of electric guitar chords. While Waiting for The Tide To Turn is short and offers some juxtaposition for the ears: the music is laid-back but the voice is thick and booming.
Perhaps a 1970s throwback rocker has no place in our modern music world, or maybe, just maybe, the Golden Snitch will finally come out to play.