Laurence Jones / Matt Pearce & The Mutiny Hot

Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 28, 2019    
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Laurence Jones / Matt Pearce & The Mutiny - The Greystones, Sheffield (UK) - 03 December 2019

Tonight's show was supposed to start at 7.30pm, however, for reasons unknown to me, the doors did not open until just before 8.00pm. Fortunately, The Greystones is also a real ale pub, so there was no waiting out in the cold. The music venue, at the back of the pub, filled to almost capacity as support act Matt Pearce & The Mutiny took to the stage. Pearce looked very dapper in his suit jacket and fedora, and was hardly recognisable as the axe-slinger with hard rockers Voodoo Six. What was not in doubt was Pearce's obvious talent to play the old six-string, no matter the musical style. The crowd was largely appreciative, but many like myself seemed to be unfamiliar with most of the material, albeit the singles played on Planet Rock, 'Scarecrowing', 'Set Me Free' and the recently released, album title-track, 'Gotta Get Home'. Glaswegian Pearce endeared himself to the fans with this brand of Blues and congenial inter-song chat, joking at one stage on how difficult it was to change guitars whilst wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

The venue was packed to capacity by the time Laurence Jones took to the stage with his band, drummer Phil Wilson, keyboard player Bennet Holland, bassist Jack Alexander Timmis and backing singer Abbie Adigan, whose smile and energy could have lit up half of Sheffield. The sound and mix were both good; however, due to the relatively low stage, and my position in front of the mixing desk at the rear of the room, I only had a limited view of the band, and could only see the top half of Jones when he was soloing at the front of the stage.

This UK tour was to promote the recently released 'Laurence Jones Band' album and the first five songs were taken from this new opus, with 'Wipe Those Tears Away' and 'Mistreated' (not the Deep Purple classic) being the early highlights. Throughout the evening Jones played a few covers and brave choices they were indeed. Firstly, 'Lenny' by arguably one of the greatest Blues guitarists of all-time, the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughn; this was performed as a three-piece with Holland and Adigan leaving the stage. Sadly, Jones had to request the crowd to be quiet as unfortunately, several people in the audience (mostly ladies) thought it was acceptable to have loud, full-blown conversations with one another (unbelievable when just a few yards away, on the other side of the door, was a public house). Jones asked again for silence at the beginning of the acoustic 'Long Long Lonely Ride'. Fortunately, this seemed to do the trick as the crowd were impeccably behaved thereon after. He left the stage for one track, allowing Sheffield born Holland to take lead vocals on Traffic's 'Feelin' Alright', although more widely recognised by one of Sheffield's favourite sons, Joe Cocker.

'Take Me' and 'What Would You Do' featured from last year's 'The Truth' before Jones took on Bob Dylan's classic 'All Along The Watchtower'. Vocally, Jones was superb all evening, although this was probably his weakest song, but man, did he make up for it with his guitar playing. I'm sure Hendrix would have been looking down in admiration. Just to underline his abilities (not that they needed emphasising to this crowd), he followed it up with one of the first songs he ever wrote, 'Thunder In The Sky', which was a real tour-de-force. The main set came to a conclusion with audience participation during the Bo Diddley classic 'Before You Accuse Me (Take A Look At Yourself)', followed by latest single and sure to be future classic 'Everything's Gonna Be Alright'. The band briefly left the stage before returning, for the one-song encore of 'Live It Up', followed by a deserved ovation for the five band members. I not sure how he made it so fast, but within seconds, Jones was at the merchandise stand at the rear of the room, meeting and greeting the fans as they exited.

I'm really pleased I got to see the Laurence Jones Band at The Greystones, as judging by tonight's performance and reception, I'm sure larger venues lie ahead in the future for this very talented and entertaining Blues Rock band.

Setlist:- I'm Waiting / Stay / Wipe Those Tears Away / Quite Like You / Mistreated / Lenny / Long Long Lonely Ride / Feeling Alright / Take Me / What Would You Do / All Along The Watchtower / Thunder In The Sky / Before You Accuse Me / Everything's Gonna Be Alright Encore: Live It Up

Review and photos by Mark Donnelly

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