John J Presley offer an interesting take on a classic song
When I first heard John J. Presley a few years ago, I commented to a friend that he sounded like a mixture of Nick Cave and Tom Waits, so his new track is no surprise. The only real surprise is why has it taken him so long to record and release it?
The main difference between Waits’ version and this is that Presley has slowed it down. At first this sentence doesn’t make sense, given that the original was never played at breakneck speed, but Presley’s version is slower. At firs this sounds jarring and you hope it’ll speed up, but after a few listens you get it and realise that the space between the notes and vocals is transfixing and adds something that Waits never had. Malice.
While Presley makes this cover his own, it never eclipse the original. This isn’t a unexpected as Waits’ 1980 version is a classic. However given Presley’s vocal range and penchant for the blues, this could have been something very special indeed.
April 20 – The Shacklewell Arms, London
May 24 – Indo, London
July 25 – Golden Slippers at Blacks Club, London