Bristol sunshine and music thanks to JJ Grey & Mofro
The sun shone on JJ Grey & Mofro as the tour bus rolled into Bristol and parked up outside The Tunnels, under Temple Meads Gothic Railway Station in the second of the three towns he is visiting on this trip to the UK. JJ Grey likes quirky, last night a Chapel in London tonight a club under the Arches, very contrasting locations. A good sign was a queue forming before the venue opened, the sun shone and the buzz was that of excitement to see JJ Gray live and close tonight, a Sunday night that for many meant a lie-in on a Bank Holiday Monday.
Tonight, the expectation was high we wanted soulful, heavy blues infused Rn’B from JJ Grey & Mofro. The Mofro are always a band that builds in a layered and textured tone that shapes around the vocals, guitar, harp or tambourine playing of JJ Grey himself. The combination of Bass, Keys and Brass proving an entry level of sound that defines JJ Grey before he has set foot on the ground and opened up his superb vocals for The Tunnels tonight.
The set list flowed and the feel of a band that were determined to enjoy playing in The Tunnels tonight with some fantastic free-form singing, lead-breaks from not only the expected guitar including slide from Zach Gilbert but keys and the ever smiling happy bassist Todd Smallie. JJ Grey & Mofro, were tonight no common or garden strawberry jam they were creating premier preserves with music as sweet as honey. The effect was live music that had a buzz, lightness of touch and melodic medleys and harmonies that zipped through the audience who were getting hotter and hotter with the excitement the music was producing. With tracks from his current album as would be expected, Ol’ Glory is fantastic from your speakers at home, but the tracks live have an added dimension. The reason why live music every time has a unique tone and shape created for your ears and pleasure. With his deep back catalogue we tasted numbers from various albums it was music that healed your soul and made the broken-hearted feel rays of hope in life again.
Opening with a perfect song for a Sunday evening gig, 6 Ways From Sunday off the album Lochloosa gets the tunnels vibe jumping we were up for a party tonight. Throughout the set we had entertaining anecdotes from JJ Grey, he knows how to connect with the audience so they feel an integral part of the show. The audiences at any live gig are never bystanders tonight we were welcomed into the band’s space. JJ Grey was enjoying playing close to the audience. The melodic Every Minute from his current album held us all enthralled with its very powerful lyrics. We were entertained with Hide & Seek; Everything Good; and Ho Cake it was all so very tasty. The set was an object lesson in how to use the power of silence within tracks capturing that snap moment when the venue is swathed in deep silence before the drum cuts in the voice picks up the story or the guitar powers the moment forward. The effect is the added drama of great feel and the shading of volume and silence. Light A Candle was the ballad of the evening and then the encore with a double helping opening with I Believe and the title track of Ol’ Glory. Tonight we all believed in the magic of JJ Grey & Mofro.