I am absolutely stoked.
Tonight at the infamous 100 Club, Ayron Jones is bringing his new-age, power-soaked rock in full force. The Seattle-based musician has been on a hard-earned road that has seen his raw songwriting develop into a well-respected solo career tinkering on the edge of greatness. He brings his riff-ready rage to the UK on a tour which sees him haul his creative visions across the pond, guitar and brawn.
Now, I will admit I had not heard any of Jones’ music before I was offered up the gig. But within 30 seconds of listening to the latest single ‘Filthy’, I knew I had come across something wildly different and undeniably good. Time to see if the live show lives up to the studio experience.
Amongst Liars are up first as the eager-eyed support act. Lead guitarist Leo Burdett plays to an arena-sized audience with his white LTD as the Brighten-based lads bring their absolute all to the night. The sound is top notch and the look is fierce. It’s clear from the get-go why these guys are along for the ride. Stack-sized energy and bags of charisma, Amongst Liars, get the crowd clapping on the second song. The instrumental is absolutely smashing with drummer Adam Oarton slicing up his snare with vicious precision and bassist Ross Towner keeping the fine rhythm in check. A nice bit of delay Vox chucked in there from Ian George and they ease into the second half of their set. ‘Black Days’, ‘Over and Over’ and ‘Reign’ are brilliant along with the rest.
A quick acoustic guitar intro break before they divulge back into the dark and the loud once more, with a few dives into the crowd. These guys really do mean business. A brilliant set from a band I’d never seen before but hoped to see much, much more of. (After chatting to the lads I can confirm they’re back in the studio in a few week’s time to start their second album. The best of luck to them).
Then, with both the venue and air-filled to the brim with excitement, Ayron Jones’s guys take to the stage to the immediate proclamation of cheers. Bassist Bob Lovelace stirs up the audience with all cowboy hat and gleam finish jeans. Now we know we’re getting a show. Jones walks on stage and after his applause, commands this audience into an anticipating silence with an ice-cool suave. Not saying anything, he speaks volumes. The rumble of his Fender Stratocaster leaps out and they open with ‘Boys From The Puget Sound’. The opening track from his debut album, it’s a smooth riding graft up with stacks of style.
“I came to play some fucking rock and roll for you!”
Showcasing his husky vocal talents Jones leads the quartet with a superbly placed confidence. ‘Supercharged’ is drawn out exactly how it sounds. Pretty blues laden rhythm with an unfathomable amount of upbeat charge, the crowd gets in on the singalong. His band is the perfect concoction of talent and charisma with an unrivalled amalgamation. Guitarist Matthew Jaquette and drummer Bobbi Jimmi join Lovelace in the go team behind Jones. They’re just having the best time together which makes the crowd want to get in on all the fun too.
Jones licks his slickly played instrument, supercharging the effects board before running into a gorgeous lick intro of Nirvana’s ‘Breed’. He holds the fort at the front of stage, snarling out with every bite, every inch of his accurate picking.
Tuning up they head back to Jones’ roots “this is from my first ever record, hopefully it doesn’t suck!”
Oh Ayron trust me, it did not. Jimmi holds the high hat hiss with tight jurisdiction as we head into a solo from Jones that equally entices as well as enlightens. He plays with a sort of ‘listen to this or regret it’ kind of way. Passion and sweat are poured out for the music and the show.
‘Filthy’ is suitably raunchy as fellow guitarist Jaquette captivates the crowd with both his skill and performance.
The band continue to slam out each song with enormous soul. ‘Spinning in Circles’ is the appropriate mid set emotional core before bringing about that – newly crowded – signature Ayron Jones mid song upheaval which crescendos finely. ‘Free’, ‘Killing Season’ and the smashing ‘Take Your Time’ keep the fire burning before they launch into a cover of ‘Voodoo Chile’. I’ve never seen a crowd mosh pit to this song but if there was ever a time, it was now. ‘Mercy’ also makes an appearance and is a testament to the band and its meaning.
Throughout the set it’s important to note Jones’ guitar virtuosity as well as phenomenal songwriter. Compared to his recordings the live show gives him a chance to show off his playing to the fullest, bringing so much more to the whole experience. Not to mention that snazzy Flying V he whips out. It’s one for the guitar enthusiasts as well for those who just want to rock the ‘eff out.
The final note was like a kick in the stomach. We wanted more, we needed more. Ayron Jones will no doubt return to the UK and when he does for gods sakes be at that ticket checkout. A second album will not doubt be on the way and I can honestly say it was most definitely the most fun I’ve had at a gig for a long, long time. Ten out of ten.
Review: Monty Sewell
Photography: Tony Giannattasio
For a full list of tour dates and more, visit AyronJonesMusic.
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