Review: A Foreigner’s Journey, The Jam House

In their minds, A Foreigner’s Journey – a homage to two of music’s top-selling melodic pop-rock bands of the 70s and 80s – was playing to a stadium packed with thousands of cheering fans.**

In reality, they were performing to a largely empty barn, where the only people cheering were those who had arrived early for the post-gig club.

“Um, you do know we play the music of Foreigner and Journey?” said vocalist, Jimi Anderson, mildly embarrassed at having to turn down a song request. It was an awkward moment, for sure.

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It could be argued, however, that the Scottish Cup and Champions League final(s) had a large bearing on the overall attendance. Then again, the last time this tribute act to Foreigner and Journey popped into the Capital, it was yet another barn dance at the HMV Picture House.

The Jam House is simply too large a venue so, when you consider the poor turnout and the lack of atmosphere, it’s no wonder the acoustics sounded like they were echoing back from within an empty swimming pool.

Despite his slight resemblance to Journey singer Steve Perry – Anderson, to his credit, has the power, tone and range to pull it off. The band aims to capture the Foreigner/ Journey sound rather than the look. And to be fair, they have it down pat.

There’s no dry ice or any sign of wind machines, either – a key trademark with any overblown early 80s pop-rock act – but for the spirited few who turned up specifically, they appeared to be happy with what they received. It’s a little bit ironic that tunes such as Foreigner’s Cold As Ice and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing would have been lapped up by more people in other clubs around town. Yet to hear them belted out live made a nice change from hearing them pumped through some cheesy bar’s speakers.

A Foreigner’s Journey is dedicated to those they emulate – and it shows. However, with the likes of Foreigner and Journey still touring, the demand for a tribute act – at least in Edinburgh – is about as low as a Hibs fan’s mood.