Make no mistake, Jett Rebel is a seasoned, fully fledged, superstar in his native Netherlands. One minute he’s in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans at Euro festivals like Pinkpop – the next he’s playing to what we (politely) call an ‘intimate gathering’ at the Notting Hill Arts club in West London. Except it was much more than that: the venue was totally and crowded and sweaty from body heat. It was hard not to be more intimate with strangers than perhaps intended!
Forgetting the arm-pitty damp smell in this underground bunker of a club, we witnessed something quite rare these days in music: genuine delight and excitement in the waiting crowd – and they were mostly young, cynical Londoners too. The room was charged with a tangible buzz as Jett took to the stage to raucous screams of delight. So much so that, although cool as a cucumber, he appeared also a little taken aback and humbled by the attention. Humility proffered by a genuine star is quite a nice thing to witness as Jett, starting small in his bid to conquer the UK, tells the crowd how happy he is to finally play in London England.
One thing is quite clear as he rocks into his set : Jett Rebel is not posturing as a rock star. He is the genuine article – rock n roll seems to run through his veins and every inch of his being like a stick of seaside rock. You can tell he feels every note, every lyric in every song he sings and plays. He dives emotionally head first into a rock n roll rollercoaster and takes everybody in the room (and probably the posh bar bit outside too) along for the ride.
It’s been a long time since I have witnessed so many young people going that physically crazy at a gig, almost bouncing off the walls and certainly each other, throwing themselves around the venue. Jett knows how to work the room and is clearly loving every second as he works the crowd into a frenzy, only bringing the tone down to switch from balls-out rock n roll to a slower, sometimes bluesy – sometimes funkier, melodic love fest. This doesn’t dampen spirits in his adoring audience but only serves to seal the ‘Jett Love-in’ experience.
“Anyone here in love?” he asks “Yeahh!” they cry. “Anyone here wanting to fall in love tonight?” they respond even louder. One thing is for sure, they love Jett Rebel. He pulls all the moves, all the heartstrings and possesses all the rock n roll charisma: but you know he genuinely feels the room as the performance goes ‘off plan’ as he freestyles with guitar solos. It isnt a standard performance – it is visceral and exciting. The crowd are mental at this point and as he goes off stage they want him back, all chanting his name in unison. Quite something to behold. They want an encore: Someone requests his Dutch hit single ‘Louise’ from years ago and he is amazed they even know it and is touched. But, they demanded even more – and so it was not one encore, but two! Ultimately though, Jett and the band knew it was good to go out on a rock-tastic high and leave the crowd wanting more. And, boy, do they want more Jett Rebel. He’d better come back soon to satisfy U.K. demand…
LADY ON THE HILL TAKE ME DO YOU WANT ME WAITING FOR THE WEEKEND IT’S CRUEL TONIGHT DANCING THROUGH THE ROOM IT’S REAL DEVIOUS CHILD I SEE YOU BLEED ME AN OCEAN