Love it to Life
Returning to Cardiff after a five year hiatus, New York City’s urban people’s poet and post punk raconteur rolled into South Wales with his new band The St Marks Social in promotion of their new album “Love it to Life”. Jesse wasted no time in bringing the audience to life and steamed through a couple of new tracks, notably ‘Burning down the Bowery' and ‘All the way from Moscow’ reminding the audience of his undeniable commitment and connection with rock n roll, to Malin music is life. As well as the new tracks the hardcore fans amongst us were treated to early classics such as ‘Wendy’, which was replaced temporarily by an excellent acoustic version of ‘Almost Grown’ due to the drummer suffering a technical malfunction of some type and also the amazing ‘Brooklyn’. The later introduced by the now classic, 'Man with a van moving Barbara Streisand’s bed’ a tale of comic woe that had everybody in stitches.
It’s hard to believe that Malin was recently reduced to sleeping on his sister’s couch and forced to DJ wedding parties in Las Vegas on the back of releasing the covers album "On your Sleeve" but as he described “the cheque’s stopped coming and I was never going to be the interpretive voice of a generation”. However this did not stop him performing tracks by Bad Brains and a more considered ‘Bastards of Young’ by The Replacements which was both moving and induced another moment of crowd participation and joviality.
Littered with name checks and encouragement of insurrection against “BP” Malin kept his foot to the floor for the whole show with his new band incessant in making sure the lead singers enthusiasm was mirrored by their playing which translated back out at the audience. ‘In the Modern World’ and ‘Prisoners of Paradise’ were met head on as the mercurial singer ended his set by the now familiar walk into the audience (in which both crowd and singer sit on the floor). Didactic like in his quest for all to follow his P.M.A (Positive Mental Attitude) the final notes of ‘Cigarettes and Violets’ were met in a hushed contentment and knowing that as long as Jesse Malin is around we will always have an artist whose pulse beats for the pure joy of a sweaty venue and truest forms of rock n roll.