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Review: Laurence Jones Band @ Lichfield Guildhall

The award-winning Laurence Jones Band played a set of assured blues, jazz, rock and funk music when they appeared at the Lichfield Guildhall.

The Laurence Jones Band

The Laurence Jones Band

With a strong rhythm section of bassist Roger Inniss and drummer Miri Miettinen, who both recently won awards in the Blues Matters Magazine Writer’s poll, this was set to be a night of musical quality.

Laurence Jones is only 23, and has just released his third studio album, What’s it Gonna Be, and is part way through a tour of nearly 200 dates.

A recent operation had no impact on the quality of his playing, or the dynamics of his performance, while the musical interplay between the three men was something to behold, moving from upbeat rock to whispered blues within the space of moments.

With a set that ranged from Bob Dylan via Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and their own strong material, there was something here for fans of most types of music.

Highlights of the first half included the originals Don’t Need No Reason and I Got A Feeling, and a somewhat epic reading of Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower, which included quotes from Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven and variations of the harmonica riff from the Rolling Stones Miss You. The whole piece lasted more than 10 minutes, and showed the musical expertise, stamina and open-minded attitude of the trio.

The second half included the new album title track, What’s It Gonna Be, a full-on rock blues song, before guest singer Amy Eftekhari added her vocal prowess to the melodic rock ballad Set It Free, complete with lead guitar motifs, and stayed on for an incendiary reading of Bad Company’s Can’t Get Enough with the two vocal stylings providing a perfect match.

The long form song Evil closed the set, but the encore was the swinging, upbeat blues rock of Stop Moving the House, inspired by too many good nights out, of which this was one.

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