Live Review - John Jenkins and Pippa Murdie - Round the Corner, Liverpool 22nd Oct 2023



Review from ‘Liverpool Entertainment, Music and Artist Network’ on Facebook

Live review: John Jenkins – The Bell, Bath, 23rd August 2021

"John Jenkins is one of those songwriters who works just off the radar but is the equal of many better known artists"


I don't get many reviews for playing live so to get one for the current tour is great news especially such a positive one and its lovely to see Pippa being named checked as she's been great this last few weeks. Nice also to see Trudi Brunskill get a mention as well.

Thanks Tim Martin


New post on Americana UK - Live review: John Jenkins – The Bell, Bath, 23rd August 2021 by Tim Martin


The Bell in Walcot Street has been one of the key venues in Bath for more than 40 years. It restarted live music in July and tonight it hosted John Jenkins, on tour to promote his excellent album ‘If You Can’t Forgive You Can’t Love’. However, there were several support acts, selected from an online and "age positive" songwriting contest called Talent is Timeless which meant that Jenkins set was rather shorter than might have been ideal, but he took the opportunity to play some songs that don’t feature on the album.

With just mandolin and guitar player Pippa Murdie alongside him, the songs he did play from the recent album had a completely different quality. Having suffered at the hands of the rail network getting to Bath, ‘The Last Train From Baltimore’ was a surprise choice. But as one of the songs that highlights Jenkins’ rich voice best it was a welcome one though. His Townes Van Zandt T-shirt was a clue that he would be playing ‘Kathleen’. He did, and It was the highlight of the set. On the album it has a full band and strings arrangement, here the delicate simplicity of the song gave us a refreshing variation to the album version. ‘It's Not That I'm Afraid of Your Husband’ is an as yet unrecorded tale of infidelity, not to be taken seriously. Pippa Murdie’s guitar playing on this was particularly good, and her singing and mandolin playing add another dimension to the songs.


Jenkins had spent the night asking the audience in the small crowded Back Bar to respect the artists by not talking during their sets. The only artist not treated to that consideration was Jenkins himself. One of the other acts had brought some supporters who, having seen their favourites decided to chat and take phone calls during Jenkins and Murdie’s songs. However, talking to Jenkins afterwards, he was pleased with the evening and happy to support the other artists in getting some exposure.

The most notable of those support acts was the extraordinary Trudi Brunskill. She offered up a mixture of songs drawing heavily on Joni Mitchell’s 'Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter' era, and between show quips courtesy of Julie Walters.


John Jenkins is one of those songwriters who works just off the radar but is the equal of many better known artists. In an acoustic folk setting his songs work as well as on his more Americana flavoured albums. In Pippa Murdie he has the ideal playing partner. If they play near you go and see them.

Tim Martin | September 1, 2021 at 11:30 am | Tags: John Jenkins | Categories: Live Reviews, Reviews | URL:


West Kirby Arts Centre 24th March 2018

Here's a review for our West Kirby Arts Centre Show last week (24th March 2018) that is on the West Kirby Arts Centre Facebook Page - Many thanks to Trevor Smith for such kind kinds:


Review: John Jenkins & the James Street Band at West Kirby Arts Centre
Last Saturday WKAC hosted the type of show that is rapidly becoming one of their hallmarks. John Jenkins and his band performed a warm, smooth, intimate show that complimented the unique atmosphere and acoustics of the hall.
John is a local singer songwriter who originally hailed from Scotland Road but who resides in Meols. He has played in some notable Merseyside bands and has supported some serious 80’s royalty, including Elvis Costello, The Beat and Echo and the Bunnymen. After a self-imposed hiatus, he has bounced back with a new CD of original songs and we were fortunate to have him showcase many of these at the centre.
John has a relaxed, natural style of delivery that results from performing for as long as he has, and associating with musicians of such impeccable pedigree. His dialogue with the audience was friendly and sincere and his introductions to the various songs enhanced peoples’ appreciation of them.
Similarly, the band was tight and well-balanced. I didn’t hear one bum note all night. This was quite an achievement as there were a wide range of instruments between the seven band members. It would be appropriate to also mention the sterling work of Tony Woof & Bob Glass who ran the mixing desk heroically. The overall sound balance was very pleasing.
First half highlights for me were an old favourite, “Playing with Fire”, and the first half closer, “Someday We’ll See Better Days”. The latter was inspired by local musicians singing “We Shall Overcome” en masse at an anti-austerity benefit concert. John made a good fist of recreating the power and passion of this performance here to whet peoples’ appetites for the second set.
The second half maintained the quality and momentum of the first. John performed many of his latest songs here, from his new CD, “Window Shopping in Nashville”. Speaking to him afterwards, he was clearly pleased how this new material compared with his established set, and how comfortable these new songs were now to perform. Notably “Looking For That American Dream”, the number that opened the second set and “Can You Hear Me” are examples of this. John set the scene for the latter with a heart-warming account of his father’s pride in moving from the urban Scotland Road to the leafier, suburban West Derby.
The James Street Band includes among their rank an extended family of talented singer-songwriters in their own right. John allowed certain band members to perform their own songs within the set. This was a nice touch and enhanced the evening’s entertainment. Notable examples of these included Denis Parkinson (electric guitar) performing his insightful “Idiot Guide to Modern Living”. In addition Sarah Jones showed plenty of maturity at a very young age with her tender song, “Way Into Your Heart”, assisted by Megan-Louise. She then returned the favour on Megan’s “The Train Song”. David Nixon then weighed in with his emotional rendition of “Moon and Stars”. There was a degree of Merseypride going on here also, with certain band members decamping on the Wirral from Liverpool and others going the other way.
My personal favourite song from the whole performance was “Don’t Make Me Stay”, the final number of the night. This was simply a lovely song, performed with warmth and wonderful harmonies, sending everyone home happy.
All in all, this was a deeply satisfying evening of original songs written and performed by a talented group of local musicians. The centre played its part in the proceedings also, its unique setting perfectly complimenting this performance. I would encourage everyone to check out the WKAC website to see the programme of up and coming acts for the year.
Review by Trevor Smith
Fine Art Degree (painting) Birmingham 1976, now lives in West Kirby. Whole teaching career in Liverpool schools. Retired in 2012 as Head of Arts Faculty in the North Liverpool Academy in Anfield.
He has exhibited at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham and Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool.

Scene and Heard March 2018

Here's a nice review from "Scene and Heard" by the lovely Lis Garrett of our show on Friday 23rd March 2018 at 81 Renshaw Street :

Next up was John Jenkins and The James Street Band. John Jenkins has surrounded himself with a super group of musicians and singers. It’s fluid and changing with several guests arriving and departing during the set but above all it feels like a group of friends having a great time performing together, the fact there is an appreciative audience seems like a bonus. Stand out individual performances for me were Megan’s stunning vocals - she has an emotional depth to her vocals that belies her young age. Denis Parkinson on lead guitar also impressed. John Jenkins’ understated role as band leader had more to do with the very limited space on stage but nonetheless he leads his band of musicians with confidence and his enjoyment is infectious.

Fatea Review Dec 2017