Kelly Jones performing his Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Wednesday 3rd July 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Stereophonics front man, Kelly Jones, strode out of the shadows and onto the stage at the Royal Concert Hall last night in his usual calm manner, to deliver a solo stint to a packed Hall which included delving into the vast archive of Stereophonics songs, with some rarely heard album tracks, cuts from his 2007 solo album and a few covers.

Not starting his set with a bang but with a story about how he came to write songs, sitting in the bath water that his brothers had used before him, it was a gentle, amusing start to the evening. But he soon got things going with Stereophonics numbers Hurry Up And Wait and then You’re My Star, which were stunning with his raspy whiskey voice.

With Jones’ usual band mates being given the night off, in their place were the multi talented Gavin Fitzjohn who played just about every instrument going, Fiona Brice brought subtlety with the violin and piano whilst Cherisse Osei flitted between two drum kits, his booming energy being a particular highlight.

There was a cluster of songs from Jones’ solo album, Only The Names Have Changed, a record featuring tunes entirely of one word, so Rosie, Liberty, Suzy and Katie followed.

Breaking his twenty four song set list up with stories about his past encounters with David Bowie and The Rolling Stones brought laughs from the audience and memories of former drummer Stuart Cable brought real emotion as he remembered him with a beautiful rendition of Before Anyone Knew Our Name.

Then came renditions of some of the classics including I Wanna Get Lost With You and I Stopped To Fill My Car Up, which just served to showcase Jones’ distinctive and wonderful voice, with the acoustics of the Concert Hall only highlighting this further.

He told of the personal meanings of the Stereophonics rarely played Rainbow And Pots Of Gold and Jealousy and even offered up his personal favourites, covers of Stevie Nick’s Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around and Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make It Through The Night, which was a real highlight.

For the most part he stood centre stage, with just a spotlight. He had so many guitar changes it was difficult to keep up as he changed from acoustic to electric, then the ukulele and then onto the piano.

Reassuring everyone that his solo tour is not a permanent new direction, he treated everyone to a new Stereophonics song from their as yet untitled new album which is due out later this year, and with newbie, This Life Ain’t Easy But It’s The One We All Got, you could see the crowd mentally make a note to pre-order it.

Bringing his main set to a close with No-One’s Perfect and Show Me How, Jones had totally mesmerised this Concert Hall crowd. And with the reaction that greeted him for an encore filled with fans favourites Just Looking, Traffic, and Maybe Tomorrow, he was mindful of running out of time.

Asking backstage if there was time for one more; it was the anthemic Dakota, the chart topping Stereophonics hit that got everyone on their feet.