The Wind and The Wave & Kelly Jones @ Eventim Apollo in London, UK
Review & photography by Guy Hurst
Now we’ve all heard of Stereophonics. They’ve been going on nearly 20 years and since then have been topping the charts in the UK and globally. But when they announced for the first time ever that lead singer/songwriter Kelly Jones would be setting out on a short, one-off solo tour – it more or less took everyone by surprise. It’s rare for an established band to go ‘unplugged’ as much as bands frequently did back in the 90s with acoustic sets and toned down versions being published left, right and center, but for one member of a popular band to temporarily break away for the purpose of performing intimate gigs to really connect with their fans, is a big breath of fresh air. Playing a handful of sold-out shows in Brighton, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Wales, Veracious caught him playing his set at the Eventim Apollo in London.
Supporting Kelly on his tour dates were The Wind and The Wave, all the way from Austin, Texas. A diverse duo rocking an acoustic guitar and a large set of pipes performing what could only be described as energetic indie crossed with the soulful country. Their calm approach to gigging involves the charismatic pair seated, for a chilled out vibe while they perform their most well-known hits, Anything For You and Skin And Bones. Throughout their set, they talked about how they toured with Stereophonics during their early days as a band and how some of their songs were inspired by their time on tour. It was a really nice touch that they were brought along, but also to hear the stories of the impact Stereophonics has had on their music career.
Kelly Jones put on a huge set for his London show, playing for nearly two hours in total. He explained the point of this tour was to share the stories of his songwriting and development of him being an artist but to also share little insights into how some songs came about from his own work and with being the driving force of Stereophonics. Even though it would help to be a Stereophonics fan, the enjoyment of new and exciting music could be enjoyed by any attendee. Kelly performed a stripped back version of I Wanna Get Lost With You and Fight or Flight, while also performing a few of his favorite cover songs such as Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around by Stevie Nicks.
The highlight and most anticipated part of the evening was the performance of both Maybe Tomorrow and Dakota. Their tone-downed and stripped back style made each of them a new song entirely, which created a new found love to already a widely appreciated couple of tracks. It may have taken a second encore to get them out of Kelly, but it was worth the wait. The seated and intimate style of the venue really shed a new side of Kelly, but also on Stereophonics, for the appreciation of their songwriting, band style, and versatility to ultimately make an evening like this happen.