Jess & The Bandits at The Musician, Leicester – 8th February 2018 – Review by Liam Lewis

Jess & the bandits have been a band that have been on my radar for a while. A number of people I have spoken to have always recommended seeing them perform live citing the energy and stage presence of Jess and the great musical talent of the Bandits as some of the many reasons I should see them live.

It was immediately evident that JATB would have a great stage presence from the moment the bandits graced the stage. Kicking off the show with ‘My Name is Trouble.’ the perfect choice from their catalogue to get the crowd amped for the show. The moment Jess appeared on the stage she claimed it as her own. Her energy increasing the excitement of the crowd even further.

Almost immediately I was impressed by the power of Jess’s vocals. It is strikingly obvious that she is confident in her ability to perform well. Vocally sound, no note was an issue for Jess to hit with near perfect pitch. The bandits should definitely be commended on their musical talent and their ability to add energy to the set. Although they may be an after thought for many, with Jess being the spotlight, I could not help but enjoy how much effort and genuine love for the music the bandits displayed. Rocking and dancing away with no cares in the world, genuinely loving performing. Clearly, a lot of time and love has gone into this tour.

The set was a perfect mix of high and low tempo, new and old songs with a sprinkle of some well-known covers. My highlights of the set included ‘Nitty Gritty’, ‘Fault Lines’, ‘The Bullet’, ‘Sister’ and ‘Ready set’. ‘Sister’ was performed with such conviction and emotion it was glaringly obvious just how much the song meant to Jess. The emotion displayed by Jess further led to the intensity of the music. ‘Fault Lines’ was my favourite of the night and a new song from the latest album ‘Smoke and Mirrors’. A perfect mid-tempo song exposing Jess’s incredible vocal control and coupled well with the keys and guitar laid down by the bandits.

The great choice of covers with ‘Mamma told me not to come’, ‘Wichita lineman’ and ‘Love sneakin’ up on you’ exemplify the ability of the bandit and Jess to take a piece and make it their own. Their performance of ‘Love sneakin’ up on you’ was particularly memorable.

Whilst playing live Jess and the bandits are impeccable. A powerful stage presence coupled with incredible vocals, talented musicians and cleverly constructed lyrics are surely a recipe for massive success. It is clear to see that Jess and the Bandits are one of the best bands on the live circuit. I cannot wait to see them live again.


Set list:

  1. My name is trouble
  2. You can’t stop me
  3. I’m not going home
  4. Love like that
  5. Kiss me quiet
  6. World’s still round
  7. Nitty gritty
  8. Mamma told me not to come (Cover – Eric Burdon/Randy Newman)
  9. Kings of summer
  10. The bullet
  11. White lies
  12. Love sneakin’ up on you (Cover – Bonnie Raitt)
  13. Sister
  14. Start a war
  15. Gone Girl
  16. Smoke and Mirrors
  17. Wichita Lineman (Cover – Glen Campbell)
  18. Ready Set
  19. Fault Lines
  20. Single Tonight

Review written by Liam Lewis (

Share this product!