The Waterfront, Norwich – 22nd November 2019
Laurence Jones kicked off his UK tour in fine form after having been on the road in Europe for several weeks.
His band now consisting of Bennett Holland on keys & Hammond and backing singer Abbie Adigan as well as Phil Wilson (drums) and new member Jack Alexander Timmis on bass.
The depth and flavour this broader line up brings is evident from the off, Stay sounding rich and multi-layered and Laurence clearly relishing leading this talented bunch through a scorching set of new and older material that shows how far this gifted performer has come since he started making waves as a young teen.
By the time we hit Mistreated, the third song in, the band and Laurence are well and truly hitting their stride, Bennett on Hammond perfectly complementing the biting guitar tones.
Having the courage to follow that with Quite Like You, the wonderful ballad dedicated to Laurence’s Mum highlights the self- belief and maturity he now possesses.
Long Long Lonely Ride is up next with Laurence showing his acoustic prowess before Bennett and Abbie step aside allowing Lenny to be performed as a Blues Rock power trio, a format Laurence has long excelled in.
Bennett takes centre stage and vocals next with an outstanding cover of fellow Sheffield son Joe Cockers Feeling Alright, all swirling Hammond and gritty vocals. LJ returns and we’re into Take Me, one of the outstanding tracks from 2017s The Truth album.
The band are now steadily cranking up the pace and energy levels. What Would You Do moving seamlessly into the Hendrix version of All Along The Watchtower, simmering with hot riffs.
Thunder In The Sky is up next, Laurence giving a nod to his early beginnings with a track that is met with knowing smiles and a roar of approval from the audience. Then we’re treated to the Clapton version of the Bo Diddley song Before You Accuse Me, and what a stunning version they pull out of the bag, reaching such a crescendo that I assumed this was the show closer, but no, there was still Everything’s Gonna Be Alright from the current album to rock the rafters.
Even after that, there is more, the band returning for a thoroughly deserved encore and all having obvious fun playing Live It Up from the Take Me High album, everyone enjoying the opportunity to take a solo spot with Abbie, in particular, taking the audience’s breath away.
Anyone who might have thought that Laurence’s move to more song orientated writing on his most recent albums meant a dilution of his electrifying guitar showmanship need have no fears, this Laurence Jones Band delivers in spades,
Gig Review by Steve Yourglivch
Photos by Laurence J Harvey