The Laurence Jones Band, OSLO, Hackney: 23rd November 2019
Laurence Jones and his band made a triumphant return to London as part of a multi-date UK tour. On the evidence of this performance blues/music fans across the country are in for a big treat. It’s fair to say that with the release of his latest album, the self-titled “Laurence Jones Band” – which has to be a contender for blues album of the year – the guitar player has stepped up his game and become a real force. There was no doubt before about the quality of his guitar playing or singing but the quality of his songwriting has improved at a rapid scale. Every track on the new album is excellent and the audience in Hackney were treated to 9 cuts from the latest collection, each of them sounding terrific courtesy of the superb sound system in what is a very nifty venue in East London. Kicking off and ending the show with the singles “I’m Waiting” and “Everything’s Going to Be Alright”, the temperature of the audience went from enthusiastic to totally joyful in the distance between the two. The guitar playing was superb throughout, as you might expect, but, while exuberant, never crushed the songs beneath the weight of OTT soloing. Adding his trademark cover of “All Along the Watchtower” and the standard “Before You Accuse Me” along with some choice cuts from the back catalogue, including the stonking “Live it Up” from “Take Me High” as the encore, this was one of those rare evenings when it was definitely a case of all killer no filler. Make a date to see this exciting musician and his great band; you won’t be disappointed!