“PT Barnan meets John Waters with women Sumo wrestling and Mexican transvestite wrestling… It’s thrills, chills and doctor pills, a ticket’s good for a seat but you will only use the edge, it’s high flying bone-jarring excitement, not since Christians were fed to the lions has there been a show this dangerous.” Jim Rose, Dublin 1999
I first encountered the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow in 1992 at Lollapalooza. The New England leg of the touring festival was held at the 20,000 capacity Great Woods amphitheatre, in Mansfield, Massachusettes, 30 miles south of Boston. The main stage in '92 featured Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Ministry, Ice Cube, Soundgarden, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Pearl Jam and Lush. Ministry were the highlight of my day but Pearl Jam definately won the popular vote with an amazingly powerful performance in broad daylight. Their early timeslot may be explained by the fact that even though Ten, their debut album, had been released in August 2001 it was a slow burner. On the day they literally tore Great Woods apart. Peral Jam were a revelation, I never particularly liked Ten but live they were incredible. The other revelation of the day was the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. I caught them on the second stage and was suitably gobsmacked. Jim Rose led an old school Sideshow act of daredevils performing feats of masochistic madness. It was brilliant.
In July 1999 Jim Rose performed in Dublin's Vicar Street with his Secrets of the Strange tour. I spent an afternoon in Vicar Street as local performers auditioned for the show. In this feature I chat to Rose and a 19 year old Dubliner hoping to become part of Rose's touring troupe. The young Dubliner was Preacher Muad'dib, now an internationally successful fire breathing specialist with several Guinness World Records under his belt. In the feature he talks about his aspirations of touring with his hero, let's just say, it all worked out for the guy. He and Jim Rose now refer to each other as 'my hero' and they're both continued to tour even working together opening for Alice Cooper.
Preacher Muad'dib Jim Rose