It ‘Twas a Wilde Time at London Music Hall

JJ Wilde - London, ON 2022This past Saturday Kitchener’s wild child JJ Wilde rocked the socks off a packed London Music Hall crowd and showed why she’s a force to be reckoned with. Her recent gigs have included support for Scorpions, KISS and a date as an opening act for Pearl Jam and Stereophonics at London, England’s legendary Hyde Park.

Saturday’s show was part of her headlining Canadian tour which has included stops in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and finishes with a date in Montreal this Friday at Studio TD and a December date at Maxwell’s in her hometown of Kitchener/Waterloo. Lending support for these shows is Leamington sensation Billy Raffoul, who Wilde recorded an EP with in December of last year.

JJ Wilde was non-stop energy during her 18-song masterclass in putting on a rock show. This was my first time seeing her so I was excited to see what kind of show she puts on and she and her band are all in when it comes to performing. I wasn’t at all disappointed as the Wilde child came out bouncing and dancing to her opening number, a new track called Take Me Back. They then played Cold Shoulder, a reggae-tinged rocker from the Juno winning album Ruthless. She talked about the thrill of headlining across Canada and how every city she played in felt like home to her.

There were several new songs played this night from a forthcoming album and they were well received by the boisterous London fans. The rest of the set was split between a few songs from Ruthless and the entire Wilde EP from last year. The band was in fine form and they like to jam hard. The interaction on stage is fun to watch and what live music is all about. JJ Wilde has swagger and owns that stage and she dresses like a rock star in denim and chains and metallic fringe swinging from her denim jacket.

For the encore Billy Raffoul and his band came on stage to perform Born to Die with her as well as a Tik Tok contest winner, CJ Cooper who sang with the duo. Best Boy, Funeral For A Lover and the Tom Petty cover Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around closed the show with JJ throwing a few T’s and “I Heart JJ Wilde” farmers hats to the crowd.

Billy Raffoul - London 2022
Billy Raffoul at London Music Hall on November 12, 2022. Photo by Dan Boshart

Opening the evening with an energetic set was Billy Raffoul with his band The Prime Ministers, consisting of frequent collaborator Justin Zuccato on bass and Derek Impens on drums. There was a huge contingent of family and friends here for this show as acknowledged by Raffoul during the show saying his grandparents and cousins were in attendance, as well as many friends.

Talking to Billy before the show, he showed off a Fender Custom Shop Telecaster that was lent to him by the owner of the legendary El Mocambo in Toronto for him to use on tour. The guitar was built by Toronto born Fender Master Builder Ron Thorn from timber taken from floor joists and rafters of the bar during a renovation several years ago and this guitar was the prototype of the limited build.

The trio of Raffoul, Zuccato and Wilson were capable of playing it soft and kicking it into high gear when necessary. Raffoul’s raw vocal style can switch effortlessly between the two, a trait he likely picked up from his father Jody who’s a successful musician himself, although Billy has cemented his own unique style. There was loads of showmanship during Billy’s set as well, with the lean, long maned rocker bounding about the stage during solos and showing his guitar chops. He’s an appealing singer/songwriter/musician whose time for big success is long overdue.

JJ Wilde Setlist

  • Takes Me Back
  • Cold Shoulder
  • State Of Mind
  • Home
  • Off The Rails
  • Bushweed
  • Giving Up, Giving In
  • 1000 Miles Away
  • Best Of Me
  • Mercy
  • Arizona
  • Someone Under You
  • Red Flags
  • The Rush

Encores

  • Born To Die (With Billy Raffoul and Guest)
  • Best Boy
  • Funeral For A Lover
  • Stop Draggin My Heart Around

Billy Raffoul Setlist

  • Forever
  • Bad For You
  • So Cool
  • Difficult
  • Could You Be Mine
  • Michael
  • I’m Not A Saint
  • Acoustic
  • Karma
  • We Could Get High

JJ Wilde with Billy Raffoul
London Music Hall
London, ON
November 12, 2022

Photos by Dan Boshart

JJ Wilde:

Billy Raffoul:

Photo: Dan Boshart
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Dan is a photographer and writer who loves all forms of music and entertainment with a particular passion for the classic rock of his youth. Whether in the photo pit or chatting with local or international artists, Dan is in his element and enjoys bringing the story to you, the 519 community. https://www.facebook.com/27thfloorphotography | https://www.instagram.com/27thfloorphotography