KELLY JONES - SOLO TOUR // ROYAL CONCERT HALL, GLASGOW
Stereophonics frontman ‘Kelly Jones’ celebrates his birthday in style with a sold-out solo show at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.
The Royal Concert Hall is pretty quiet as I’m here for doors opening at 7pm, looking forward to an intimate evening of songs from Stereophonicsfrontman, Kelly Jones. I get in and take my seat not too far from the middle of the hall in the stalls, a good vantage point to take in the whole performance.
Surprisingly, a lumberjack shirted figure, Kelly himself, emerges to the darkness of the stage to introduce the support act, The Wind & The Wave. These guys hail from Austin Texas and are a two-piece for this outing, they mentioned that they were part of a bigger outfit, but Kelly asked them to do something stripped back.
They consisted of a female vocalist and a male guitarist/ vocalist and performed a good 45-50 mins of songs, folk, country in a sort of cross over Celtic/ Western style. For a few tracks the girl, whose voice was divine, played mandolin and the mix of male, female vocals and the fingerpicked guitar along with stomp box beat had elements of Mumford & Sons. Great opener, really set the scene for a relaxed evening with Mr. Jones.
As the stage guys turned things around I notice that the hall has really filled up and there’s already quite an energy in the room…possibly alcohol fuelled J. There must be some folks taking Monday off.
Finally, Kelly comes on stage with a guitar, a little better dressed than when we saw him earlier, and starts playing a subtle repeating riff whilst telling the crowd, in quite a ‘round the campfire’ type way, a story about bathing in the same water as his brothers, and only once a week too. But this ends up being about the beginnings of his melody inspiration.
He then expands the riff out in to the first track of the evening, Hurry Up and Wait, accompanied by a pianist. Although this is a Stereophonics song this really illustrates what tonight is about, and that is Kelly playing the songs stripped back and with different instrumentation whilst telling some stories about the journey.
As the tracks go on through You’re My Star, another Phonics track, and a few “tracks with girls names” as he called them, which he told us he was advised never to write – Rosie, Suzy, Katie, the band gets bigger to include a couple of multi-instrumentalist and a drummer/ percussionist.
The lighting was quite well done for the low key nature of the gig with some star effect LEDs high up in the rig, but sparse and effective stage lighting down below. This along with the back drop of what looked like Persian rugs and stylised creeping tigers gave an almost Moroccan cash bah look.
The gig carries on through mainly Phonics tracks, some lesser known but he still touched on the more recognisable hits, such as Mr. Writer. The mix of instruments Violin, Bass Guitar, Trumpet and Piano really bringing something unusual to each of the compositions which was refreshing and added to a sense of something special.
Also, through the course of the evening Kelly told low key stories about this Welsh lad experiencing life as a rock star, and seeming genuinely bemused by it. These stories ranged between destroying his ‘mates’ car for sleeping with his girl behind his back to how Stuart Cable fromer Phonics Drummer, ate Keef Richards’ shepherd’s pie back stage when they were supporting the Stones in France in 2003. It was obvious they assembled crowd were true Kelly fans as he could have said anything and they were lapping it up.
The Wind And The Wave came back on stage to help out with a Stevie Nicks cover Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around and the vocals were heavenly. They also presented Kelly with a birthday cake and we all sang Happy Birthday To You. Although I thought they were a day early, according to Wiki. Another cover followed, Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make It Through The Night, followed by another couple of Kelly’s Phonics tracks, No-one’s Perfect and finishing the main set with Show Me How.
Kelly and the band left the stage to lots of cheering and whistling in the dark. There was no doubt that we would have to do an encore, and he didn’t disappoint. The band and Kelly came back on stage and played some hits, Traffic, Step On My Old Size Nines, and Maybe Tomorrow, with everyone singing every word and on their feet raising the roof. The final track was obvious, but again, a refreshing rendition, with just Kelly on vocals and a distorted rhythm guitar, accompanied by drums. Dakota.
Overall a great gig, initially I didn’t see the point of not doing a gig with the Phonics but I loved it in the end and Kelly’s vocals were immaculate as always. The attention to detail and musicianship of the band, the choice of support and the lighting and sound quality made it a top night. Classy performance all round.
SETLIST: | KELLY JONES : ROYAL CONCERT HALL, GLASGOW - 02.05.2019
Hurry Up and Wait - (Stereophonics song)
You’re My Star - (Stereophonics song)
I Wanna Get Lost With You - (Stereophonics song)
Fight or Flight - (Stereophonics song)
I Stopped to Fill My Car Up - (Stereophonics song)
Before Anyone Knew Our Name - (Stereophonics song)
Feel - (Stereophonics song)
Mr Writer - (Stereophonics song)
Rewind - (Stereophonics song)
This Life Ain’t Easy But It’s the One We All Got - (Stereophonics song) - Live Debut
Rainbows and Pots of Gold - (Stereophonics song)
Jealousy - (Stereophonics song)
Help Me Make It Through the Night - (Kris Kristofferson cover)
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around - (Stevie Nicks cover) - Joined on stage by The Wind and The Wave
No-one’s Perfect - (Stereophonics song)
Show Me How - (Stereophonics song)
Traffic - (Stereophonics song)
Step On My Old Size Nines - (Stereophonics song)
Maybe Tomorrow - (Stereophonics song)
Dakota - (Stereophonics song)