Jane’s Addiction / The Classic Lineup Played Intimate Bush Hall Show

The original lineup reunited, Jane’s Addiction treated a delighted Bush Hall London crowd to a superb show and debuted new material alongside the classics.

Jane’s Addiction

Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024

Words: Kahmel Farahani

Photography: Ryan Hildrew

When legendary LA rockers Jane’s Addiction announced a last-minute, intimate show ahead of their upcoming UK tour, excitement started building, and the rumour mill fired up. The show was set for Bush Hall, a lovely art deco function hall/venue in the heart of Shepherd’s Bush. 

Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk

The rumour adding even further excitement to tonight’s gig is that a certain legendary guitar player is returning to his rightful place on stage right. 

A drum circle is played through the PA, and as it gets more frantic, so does the crowd, calling out for the band, who are fashionably late by 25 mins by now.

As the lights finally go down, anticipation hits fever pitch for the lucky 300 or so fans crammed into Bush Hall.

Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk

Dave Navarro is the first one to walk on stage, and the reception he receives is a mix of joy and surprise that is a fit for a returning family member. As Stephen Perkins, Eric Avery and, finally, Perry Farrell take the stage, the crowd know tonight’s show will be one to savour. 

Tonight marks the first time the original, classic lineup of Jane’s Addiction has played live together since 2010.  

Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk

They start the set with the trippy trance rock of Kettle Whistle before tearing into Ain’t No Right and the sleazy, thundering brilliance of Whores. The sound is so big that it feels like an arena show but shrunk to fit this small stage. 

“Happy?” a smiling Perry Farrell asks the crowd. The delighted roar that responds is so loud it leaves little doubt. “Good, that’s all I care about.”

Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk

The title track to their iconic Nothing’s Shocking record Ted, Just Admit It… is still as powerful now as it was 30 years ago, and the build to the crescendo with Navarro and Perkins bouncing off of each other is astounding. 

Indeed, watching Stephen Perkin on the drums up close gives you the idea of what it must have been like to watch John Bonham and Keith Moon in their primes – nothing short of staggering. 

Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk

“I hear there’s an election coming up,” says a wry-looking Farrell. “Just don’t vote for that Conservative prick. We need more artists.” Another roar of applause and some laughter follow, too.

Tonight’s audience is in for yet another surprise, with Jane’s Addiction debuting new material, too.  “Here’s a new one we just wrote,” says Farrell as an introduction to Imminent. Short, sharp and heavy with a razor-sharp lead from Navarro, it sounds great.

Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk

Having both Dave Navarro and Eric Avery back on stage together is something to behold and when they strike up the heavy groove of Mountain Song the crowd loses it. It’s followed by the classic funky hard rock of Been Caught Stealing. 

Another new song, True Love, is played next. This is a slower, more rhythmic song that pulls back on the big drums and blazing guitar solos. 

Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk

“You guys are near the ocean, right,” a mischievous Farrell asks the crowd. “Is it warm?” The resounding “no” from the crowd makes him laugh. “Ahhh fuck it, I was going to ask you to take me swimming! Here’s a song about the ocean.” Ocean Size is another hard-rocking classic that sounds better than ever. 

Maybe it was the time apart or just a newfound energy, but tonight, Jane’s Addiction is firing on all cylinders and crushing everything in their path. They clearly thrive in a club/theater setting and the sound is so well controlled they can swell and pull back as they see fit.

Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk

Three Days is a psychedelic, almost prog-tinged epic that builds to a draw-dropping climax of Navarro soloing and Perkins going ballistic on the drums. It’s one of their greatest songs, and it has never sounded better. As the song comes crashing to its finale, Ferrall, Avery, and Navarro make a swift exit stage left, and Perkins, drenched in sweat, fist bumps the front row and jumps down to follow his bandmates off.

Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk

And just like that, they are gone, with no fanfare, no encore or final bow. 

At just over an hour, it may have been short and sweet, but nothing else was needed. 

Jane’s Addiction played one of the rawest and most thrilling shows of the year at Bush Hall. They also proved that, after all the ups and downs, they are still a force of nature and a band to be reckoned with. 

This was an absolutely stunning show by the kings of the alternative and the underground. 

Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk
Jane's Addiction - Bush Hall, London - 23 May 2024
Jane’s Addiction – Bush Hall, London – 23 May 2024. Photo: Ryan Hildrew/MetalTalk

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