Ahead of the release of his new album, The Truth, Laurence Jones played the Borderline in London. It’s not too many months since he last played here, so to see the venue busy on a Monday night was a great result and a good sign of his popularity.
The night started with MeMe Detroit. Not knowing anything about them, I had assumed it would be a blues or blues-rock act to tie in with Laurence Jones, but instead they’re a very different style of music, so proved a nice contrast to the blues we’d hear later in the evening. With a singer who has a red stripe across her face they’re certainly eye-catching visually and with a grunge meets indie and rock sound they certainly managed to keep my interest for the duration of the set. It’s a great start to the night from this Birmingham (UK) band.
Tonight’s set from Laurence Jones saw him play pretty much the entire new album (only “Hold me close” was missed out). It’s been a while since I’d seen him play live and the improvement over the last couple of years was immediately obvious – he sounds so much better these days and is a superb guitar player. He’s backed by a great band who were firing on all cylinders last night. I wasn’t completely sold on the new album, but hearing the songs live is very different and the live performance made the songs far more impressive. My only criticism would be that there’s a lack of a clear direction – some of the songs were ncie and bluesy, some were a bit more rocky, but a few just felt a little bland, and if they were cut from the set then you’d have a much more focussed set that would pack a lot more of a punch.
Cover versions are always a gamble, particularly when you cover a well known song by a legendary artist, which is exactly what Laurence Jones did, covering the Jimi Hendrix classic, All along the watchtower. There’s no doubt he’s got the talent to play the guitar well enough, but his clean guitar tone just didn’t quite feel right, and the keyboards I just thought weren’t right, but despite that it’s still a very good cover.
Laurence Jones is a very talented musician, and tonight’s set was very impressive – he’s playing better than he’s played before and I think it’s fairly inevitable that he’ll be playing bigger venues than this before long. If you get chance, check out one of his shows – he’s back on tour in May (see dates below).
What would you do
Don’t you let me go
Never good enough
Give me your time
Take me high
Thunder in the sky
All along the watchtower
Can’t go on without you
Live it up
Keep me up at night
What’s it gonna be
Thinking about tomorrow
Laurence Jones “The Truth” 2018 UK Tour
Manchester Band on the Wall Thursday 3 May
Leamington Spa, Zephyr Lounge Friday 4 May
Southampton, The Talking Heads Saturday 5 May
Birmingham, Hare & Hounds Thursday 10 May
Nottingham The Bodega Friday 11 May
York, The Fulford Arms Saturday 12 May
Newcastle, The Cluny Sunday 13 May
Tickets: www.thegigcartel.com , 24 Hour Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Pre-order the new album – https://laurencejones.tmstor.es