Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Guitar World
Guitar World
Phil Weller

“Dave was peak-Navarro”: Dave Navarro plays with Jane’s Addiction for the first time in 3 years following his long Covid battle – and the band debuted new material

Jane's Addiction perform live with Dave Navarro at London’s Bush Hall.

Dave Navarro returned to the Jane's Addiction saddle for the first time in three years after long Covid forced him to take a break from touring, with the band reuniting for an intimate UK warm-up gig last night.

The show on Thursday (May 23) at London’s Bush Hall boasted a cozy capacity of 400, and saw Navarro return to the stage in style. The occasion also marked the first time the classic lineup has performed together since March 2010. 

The rest of the band – bassist Eric Avery, who rejoined in 2022, vocalist Perry Farrell, and drummer Stephen Perkins – have all seen Josh Klinghoffer and Troy Van Leeuwen fill in for Navarro during various touring legs in recent years.

In May last year, Navarro revealed he’d “been sick since December” as a result of his illness, and that “nobody knows how long” it will be until he’s fit to shred on stage again. 

His message came after the band was forced to pull out of the Welcome To Rockville festival, with the guitarist adding “the fatigue and isolation is pretty awful”.

Long Covid – or post-Covid – can see people suffer from prolonged symptoms of the illness for weeks, or even years, after initial infection, with Navarro seemingly getting the worst of it.

It makes the return of the classic lineup all the more triumphant, and fans have been waxing lyrical about the show. 

The intimate gig – preparation for their Bearded Theory festival headline appearance in the UK this weekend (25 May) – saw the band hurtle headfirst into Kettle Whistle. It was the first time the song had been performed since 2001, and its opening bars rattled like a freight train out of Navarro's PRS electric guitar

(Image credit: Brad Merrett/Future)

There's a mix of joy, relief, and concentration etched on his face as he tears through the track’s wah-drenched solo. Scott Rowley, Content Director for Future's Music division, was at the show, and labeled the performance “peak-Navarro”.

“To me, he’s great because he’s a guy who grew up on Page and Van Halen, but also listened to the textures and stylists of the new wave,” he reflects. “He’s as influenced by Daniel Ash of Bauhaus and Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins, so his parts are weird, and angular, and delicate – and then he shreds like a bastard, which he did last night. Lots.”

But the band wasn't just there for nostalgia. The show also saw the live debut of a brand new song, Imminent Redemption, with the band currently working on a follow-up to their 2011 album, The Great Escape Artist – and it sounds like it will be well worth the wait.

Avery introduces the song with a rolling bassline, before Perkins provides thumping toms for assistance, with gut-punching rhythm guitars and pepperings of supple leads delivered by Navarro.

(Image credit: Brad Merrett/Future)

The band is speculated to release their fifth studio album later this year, having debuted another new track, True Love, at one of their Klinghoffer-depped shows last year. 

While the wait for official news on the album stretches on a little longer, it’s a joy to see Navarro back on stages where he belongs. 

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.