Scrooge heralds Christmas at Grand Opera House…in November

Bah Humbug: Mark Hird plays Ebenezer Scrooge in Pick Me Up Theatre’s Scrooge The Musical. Picture: David Harrison

BAH Humbug! The Christmas spirit is taking over the Grand Opera House, York, from Tuesday and not even Ebenezer Scrooge can stop it.

York company Pick Me Up Theatre are presenting their big winter show, Scrooge The Musical, directed by Robert Readman, with choreography by Iain Harvey and musical direction by Sam Johnson.

Quick refresher course: based on Charles Dickens’s Victorian cautionary tale A Christmas Carol, Scrooge tells the tale of old miser Ebenezer Scrooge on the night he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come.

Can he be turned from sourpuss to saint? What will happen to Tiny Tim? Will everyone have a merry Christmas after all? “Come and find out in this all-singing, all-dancing, all-flying show,” invites Robert.

His cast will be led by Pick Me Up regular Mark Hird, fresh from directing this autumn’s musical, Monster Makers, at 41 Monkgate. He now adds Scrooge to a diverse CV that includes Captain Mainwaring in Dad’s Army, Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady and Uncle Fester in The Addams Family.

Further leading roles go to Rory Mulvihill as the jolly Ghost of Christmas Present and Alan Park as Scrooge’s long-suffering clerk Bob Cratchit.

“It started out as a film musical in 1970, adapted for the screen by Leslie Bricusse, with Albert Finney as Scrooge,” recalls Mark. “But it was one of those musicals that landed at an unlucky time just as film musicals went out of fashion.

“Everyone thought it was an absolute banker, but times and tastes change, but now, when you go back to it, it’s actually a really good film.

“So, 22 years later, Leslie Bricusse decided to turn it into a stage musical, wrote half a dozen new songs, written specially for Anthony Newley’s Scrooge, and it went down incredibly well.”

Alan Park chips in: “Then it became a vehicle for Tommy Steele for many years in Bill Kenwright’s productions. Each year, Robert Readman put in a request for the performing rights, and at last, this year he got a ‘Yes’.

“So, this must be the first time it will have been done in a theatre of this size without it being a Bill Kenwright show.”

Park and Hird believe that Bricusse’s songs are vital to the show’s success. “They provide the vehicle for you to discover more about the characters beyond Scrooge, like Bob, so that by the end of a song you know more about them,” says Alan.

“You get the inner thoughts of the characters in the songs, so you get more than 2D characters,” suggests Mark. “You really see Scrooge’s progression, through his songs, for example.

“There’s probably no better show to put you in a good mood for Christmas,” says Mark Hird

“You’re also quite surprised by the sheer variety of the songs and the music, with some big set-pieces.”

“There are some proper Cockney knees-up songs,” says Alan.

“But also some lovely ballads, like when Scrooge sees the only girl he ever loved as a young man, Isabel, his fiancée,” rejoins Mark. You go back in time   and you hear her singing this gorgeous ballad with Young Scrooge called Happiness, as old Scrooge looks on.”

“The way Robert has staged it, you have Young Scrooge and old Scrooge mirroring each other’s actions, so you kind of feel like Isabel is singing it to old Scrooge,” says Alan.

Picking up his earlier point about Scrooge’s character progression, Mark says: “Through his songs, Scrooge goes from his position of denial, saying how he hates Christmas, to feeling ‘it’s not my fault, fate has done this to me’, when confronted by the Ghost of Christmas Past.

“Then, with the Ghost Of Christmas Present, he starts to think, ‘Could there be a better life?’, so it’s a fantastic story arc and a fantastic set of songs, with one of the most perfect stories ever written to hang it all together.”

A Christmas Carol has been interpreted in myriad ways on screen and stage, even by The Muppets puppets in 1992 in The Muppet Christmas Carol “My five-year-old daughter is still convinced I’m playing a frog in Scrooge, because her exposure to A Christmas Carol is seeing Kermit playing Bob Cratchit in the Muppets’ movie!” says Alan.

Assessing the abiding popularity of Dickens’ tale, Alan says: “It’s not just about redemption. We all reflect on moments in our life, wishing we could have done things differently, and the story also taps into nostalgia and regret and worrying about things.

“Watching this story unfold, it can change your perspective on the world and who you are.”

Mark adds: “It also says it’s never too late to turn over a new leaf and never too late to start again.”

“The story is full of joyful moments that are infectious, even infecting Scrooge, so I do feel it’s a feelgood show,” says Alan. “If you’re looking at a wider point, we all tend to focus on what’s getting us down, but this story lets us step out and think about all the joyful things of Christmas.”

Mark concludes: “There’s probably no better show to put you in a good mood for Christmas.”

Pick Me Up Theatre’s Scrooge The Musical runs from November 26 to December 1 at Grand Opera House, York. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or at atgtickets.com/york.

Copyright of The Press, York

Kim to go Wilde at York Barbican on Greatest Hits tour

Kim Wilde’s poster for next year’s Greatest Hits tour

EIGHTIES’ pop star Kim Wilde will play York Barbican on September 17 next year on her Greatest Hits 2020 Tour.

Wilde, 59, last performed there on her Here Come The Aliens tour in April 2018, her first on home soil in almost 30 years, after releasing a studio album that year inspired by a real-life close encounter in the gardening expert’s back garden in 2009.

Wilde subsequently released the live album Aliens Live, and next year she will be marking her 40 years in pop that began as “the voice of a generation of rebellious youth” with Kids In America.

Her Greatest Hits Tour will take in further hits such as Chequered Love, Water On Glass, View From A Bridge, You Keep Me Hangin’ On, Cambodia, You Came, Never Trust A Stranger and Four Letter Worn, complemented the less often aired A Million Miles Away and Love Is Holy. As in 2018, her band will include two drummers.

Her special guests will be fellow Eighties’ chart act China Crisis, best known for Wishful Thinking, King In A Catholic Style, Black Man Ray and African And White.

Tickets go on sale from Friday at 9am on 0203 356 5441, at yorkbarbican.co.uk or from the Barbican box office in person.

Iranian musicians join Northern Broadsides’ Christmas fundraiser for refugee support

Amir Beymanesh and Kamran Hoss: Iranian musicians now settled in Yorkshire . Picture: Jess Rooney

NORTHERN Broadsides will stage a festive fundraiser, Christmas Broadsides, at The Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough. Halifax, from December 13 to 15.

This concert is based around Broadside Ballads; song lyrics published from the 1600s onwards, featuring popular songs of scurrilous dealings, thwarted love and ginormous geese.

For this combination of folk song and storytelling, Amir Beymanesh and Kamran Hoss, two Iranian musicians who arrived in Yorkshire recently, will join Ripponden folk musician and multi-instrumentalist Alice Jones.

West Yorkshire actors Catherine Kinsella and Tom Shaw complete the Halifax company’s line-up for this celebration of festive cheer and reflection on Christmases past, present and future.

Alice Jones: taking part in Northern Broadsides’ festive fundraiser

Broadsides’ artistic director, Laurie Sansom, says: “We are thrilled to be celebrating this Christmas with old friends and new, welcoming Amir and Kamaran to Halifax in this extraordinary collaboration with the multi-talented Alice Jones.

“It’s a chance to share together ridiculous festive songs of comic extravagance, whilst also thinking of those who may be far from home this Christmas.

“We look forward to welcoming regular supporters and new friends who want to support the work of their local theatre company, and our collaborators at St Augustine’s Centre, who support refugees and asylum seekers.”

Looking ahead to 2020, Sansom’s debut production as Broadsides’ artistic director, a new take on J.M. Barrie’s regency romantic comedy Quality Street, will open at Dean Clough from February 14 to 22.

Catherine Kinsella: performing at Christmas Broadsides

Broadsides will collaborate with workers from the Halifax Quality Street chocolates factory by developing contemporary tales of hapless love that will frame the action of Barrie’s tale.

Barrie’s play was so popular in its day that it gave the chocolates their name. Its story revolves around Phoebe Throssel, who lives on Quality Street, the bustling hub of a quaint northern town where she runs a school for unruly children.

Ten years since a tearful goodbye, an old flame returns from fighting Napoleon, but the look of disappointment on Captain Valentine’s face when he greets a more mature, less glamorous Phoebe, spurs the determined heroine to action.

She becomes the wild and sparkling Miss Livy, a younger alter-ego who soon entraps the clueless Captain. As their romance is rekindled, can she juggle both personas? Or will her deception scandalise the town and wreck any future with the man she loves?

Tom Shaw: part of the company for Christmas Broadsides

Now, as well as providing a modern lens through which to view Barrie’s story, Broadsides also aims to build long-lasting relationships between the Halifax employees and their local theatre company.

Broadsides’ tour of Quality Street will take in Leeds Playhouse from April 21 to 25; Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, May 12 to 16; Harrogate Theatre, May 19 to 23; Hull Truck Theatre, June 2 to 6, and last stop York Theatre Royal, June 9 to 13.

Christmas Broadsides will be performed at The Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough, Halifax, at 7pm on December 13 and 3pm and 6pm on December 14 and 15. Tickets are on sale on 01422 849227 or at northern-broadsides.co.uk.

Charles Hutchinson

Yes to play York Barbican? Yes, they are…and it’s this Yes, not that Yes

Yes: lining up to play Relayer and Yes classics at York Barbican next May

YES are to play York Barbican next spring, but no, not the ‘Yes’ that performed there in June 29018 under the name Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman, as they now have to call themselves.

No, this Yes is the one that officially tours as Yes, with Steve Howe on guitars, Alan White on drums, Geoff Downes on keyboards, Billy Sherwood on bass guitar and backing vocals, Jon Davison on vocals and Jay Schellen on additional drums and percussion.

This Yes are booked into the Barbican for May 29 2020 as part of an eight-date May and June itinerary for The Album Series 2020 Tour, when the prog-rock veterans will perform 1974’s Relayer in its entirety, preceded by a set of Yes classic cuts. Expect “full production and a high definition video wall”.

Released on Atlantic Records in late 1974, Yes’s seventh studio album marked a slight change in direction as Patrick Moraz replaced Rick Wakeman on keyboards, bringing “an edgier, avant-garde feel” to the recordings.

The opening Gates Of Delirium, almost 22 minutes in length, battle scene et al, featured Moraz’s keyboard jousting with Howe’s guitar before the battle gave way to the ballad Soon, a prayer for peace and hope.

Further highlights on an album that reached number four in the British chart and number five in the US Billboard chart were Sound Chaser, a prog rock/jazz fusion experiment heavily influenced by Moraz’s style, and To Be Over, the calm and gentle closer, based on a Howe melody.

Yes’s poster for The Album Series Tour 2020

“We’re really looking forward to playing all of the Relayer album,” says Howe. “Having premiered The Gates Of Delirium this year, we continue by expanding our Album Series with all the tracks: The Gates Of Delirium, Sound Chaser and To Be Over.”

Howe adds: “During the first half of the evening, we’ll be performing a refined selection from Yes’s enormous 50-year repertoire. See you there.”

Drummer Alan White says: “I always enjoy coming home to England, so I’m especially looking forward to Yes’s upcoming Album Series 2020 tour. Relayer, I believe, is one of the most creative and interesting musical compilations in the band’s repertoire.

“Challenging and extremely enjoyable to play, I’m happy to be bringing this music back to live stages throughout Europe. I hope all who attend our shows will enjoy these cuts as much as we like performing them for our audiences.”

Tickets for Yes’s 8pm show are on sale on 0203 356 5441, at yorkbarbican.co.uk or in person from the Barbican box office.

Did you know?

ROGER Dean, designer of Yes’s iconic album artwork, will attend every show of the 2020 British and European dates. An exhibition of his work will be on show, and Dean will be available to chat with fans front of house, sign merchandise and take part in VIP meet and greets.

Charles Hutchinson

Will Young and James Morrison to co-headline Dalby Forest next June but who goes on stage first?

“We love the work Forestry England does, so we’re glad to be back again ,” says Will Young of next summer’s co-headliner with James Morrison at Dalby Forest

WILL Young and James Morrison will co-headline a Forest Live concert at Dalby Forest, near Pickering, on June 27 as one of six fund-raising concerts for Forestry England next summer.

Tickets for the two BRIT award winners go on sale at £49.50 plus booking fee at 9am on Friday, November 22 on 03000 680400 or at forestryengland.uk/music.

Young, 40, won the inaugural series of Pop Idol in 2002, since when he has notched up seven top five albums, four reaching number one, as well as four chart-topping singles, his debut, Anything Is Possible/Evergreen, Light My Fire, The Long And Winding Road with Pop Idol rival Gareth Gates and Leave Right Now.

Jealousy was his last top five single success in 2011 and he released his latest album, Lexicon, in June after a four-year hiatus.

Young branched out into film and musicals, starring on screen alongside Dame Judi Dench in Mrs Henderson Presents in 2005 and appearing as Emcee in Cabaret at Leeds Grand Theatre in October 2017.

Morrison, 35, first made his mark with his million-selling, chart-topping debut album, Undiscovered, in 2006 and has had top ten hits with You Give Me Something, Wonderful World, You Make It Real, Broken Strings with Nelly Furtado and I Won’t Let You Go, like Young, his last top five entry in 2011.

” I think our sets will complement each other in a special way,” says James Morrison

This year’s album, You’re Stronger Than You Know, was preceded by Higher Than Here in 2015, the number one success The Awakening in 2011 and Songs For You, Truths For Me in 2008.

Young, who performed at York Barbican last month, played previously at Dalby Forest in 2012; Morrison likewise in 2007. Next summer, they will present individual sets, but who will “co-headline” first? Wait and see in sets that will combine greatest hits with selections from this year’s albums.

Young says: “Both James and I have fond memories of appearing as part of Forest Live as solo artists in the past. We love the work Forestry England does, so we’re glad to be back again in what promises to be a fantastic double-header of a show.”

Morrison adds: “For the last 20 years, Will has been at the forefront of British popular culture. That’s a massive achievement. I think our sets will complement each other in a special way and I’m really looking forward to our shows together. It’ll be a great night out.”

Forest Live’s series of concerts is held each summer by Forestry England at Dalby Forest; Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire; Bedgebury Pinetum, Tunbridge Wells, Kent; Thetford Forest, Brandon, Suffolk; Cannock Chase Forest, Rugeley, Staffordshire, and Sherwood Pines Forest, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

Among past performers at Dalby Forest are Paul Weller four times; Blondie; Bryan Ferry; Simple Minds; Pulp; Status Quo twice; UB40; Simply Red; McFly; George Ezra; Tom Odell; Elbow; Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott twice; Madness; M People; Paloma Faith twice; Guy Garvey; Kaiser Chiefs; Embrace; Keane; Erasure; James Blunt; Rick Astley; John Newman; Plan B; Travis and The Zutons.

Funds raised from ticket sales go to forest sustainability for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and trees to grow.

Charles Hutchinson

Katie Melua to play York Barbican next November on 45-date winter tour

Katie Melua: York date and Live In Concert album

KATIE Melua will play York Barbican on November 7 next year on her 45-date winter tour.

Tickets for the Georgian-born singer-songwriter go on sale on Friday, November 22 at 10am on 0203 356 5441, at yorkbarbican.co.uk or in person from the Barbican box office.

Katie last performed at the Barbican last December, where she was joined by the Gori Women’s Choir.

The tour announcement coincides with news of a Live In Concert double album, featuring the Gori Women’s Choir, recorded at the Central Hall, Westminster, London, last December.

This limited-edition collection is presented as an 84-page hardback book, containing never-before-seen photographs of moments on stage and behind-the-scenes, captured by photographer Karni Arieli. 

The book also contains illustrations created by the show’s creative directors, Karni & Saul, and opens with a foreword by Melua.

Born in the Georgian city of Kutaisi, Katie and her family moved to Belfast when she was nine years old. Now 35, she has released seven studio albums, the most recent being In Winter, the 2016 silver-certified set recorded with the Gori Women’s Choir in Georgia.

The new Live In Concert double album opens at Katie’s birthplace in Georgia with her solo rendition of the folk song Tu Asa Turpa Ikavi. Plane Song, performed with her brother Zurab Melua, speaks of their childhood in the city of Kutaisi, and is followed by Belfasttracing the family’s emigration to the United Kingdom. Here, Katie’s journey towards becoming a professional recording artist began, leading to her debut album, Call Off The Search, released in 2003 at the age of 19.

The show recording continues with songs from all Katie’s albums, works by writers that have inspired her, crowd favourites and tales from her past.

Through the blustery autumn, the still English winter, and eventually to the spring with the world in full bloom, the artists on stage finally bring the show to a hopeful, joyous and optimistic close with a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World.

Charles Hutchinson

Hackett seeks a light to the future while celebrating Genesis past

“I still remain cautiously optimistic about being at the edge of light,” says Steve Hackett

FOR the first time, former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett is on the road performing his old band’s 1973 album, Selling England By The Pound, in its entirety.

Now 69, Hackett will be performing the venerated likes of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, Firth Of Fifth, Cinema Show and I Know What I Like (In My Wardrobe) at a sold-out York Barbican on Tuesday (November 19).

This will be complemented by further Genesis numbers, selections from Hackett’s Spectral Mornings album to mark its 40th anniversary and highlights from this year’s At The Edge Of Light release.

“The idea to do the whole of Selling England By The Pound came from recalling that, at the time, John Lennon said it was one of the albums he was listening to that year,” says Steve.

“By the time Sgt. Pepper came along, there were surprises around every corner in The Beatles’ music, so the challenge for me was always there, and I was rather hoping that Genesis would expand to an orchestra, but in fact they did the opposite and got smaller and smaller!”

He looks back fondly on Selling England By The Pound. “It was my favourite Genesis album that gave us our first hit,” he says.

“Then something special happened with Spectral Mornings, with my first touring band, and now I feel this year’s album, At The Edge Of Light, is special too, doing something political that I knew would be uncommercial, doing something that I wanted to do at a certain point, like when Queen and Led Zeppelin did creative things in an earlier era.”

As the title would suggest, At The Edge Of Light is a place still shrouded in darkness. “Much of the album does centre on that: the populist world view evinced by politicians, that dark times are ahead. It’s very worrying,” says Hackett.

“Look at the situation in so much of America. The man who was ‘going to make America great again’ has put 800,000 people out of work. That’s haunting.

“We don’t mention names, but much of the album is symbolic lyrically, but there are other things on there beyond politics: love songs and travelogues, so I don’t think it’s a one-horse-race album.”

Songs for this fully orchestrated album partly came out of conversations with his wife, Jo, suggesting lyrics, then Hackett coming up with melodies. In addition, he drew inspiration from the music of his youth. “I was born in 1950, and by the time the Sixties were in full cry, you had Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Buffy Sainte-Marie, doing wonderful versions of Dylan songs, with music carrying a deeper meaning without being didactic…though there’s nothing wrong with boy-meets-girl songs, but music changed for the better.”

Hackett urges people to make friends across the world, rather than for Britain to become insular in these toxic Brexit days. “The idea that we can just exist on our own, sailing off into the Atlantic…if that happens, I think there’ll be a rude awakening, once people realise what they have voted for. Be careful what you wish for. Look at what’s happening in America, with people queueing up for food in Washington. I don’t know what to say about that, but I hope people come to their senses.”

Nevertheless, the choice of the word ‘light’ in the album title indicates Hackett’s view is not all doom and gloom. “I still remain cautiously optimistic about being at the edge of light, rather than the edge of an abyss,” he says.

At The Edge Of Light is an album where Hackett “pulled no punches, gave it everything, but not in an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink way”, and he had a “great time doing it as I thought ‘let’s give it the full monty’.”

He brought such a scale to his Autumn 2018 tour too, performing Genesis and Hackett material with a 42-piece orchestra, including an October show at London’s Royal Festival Hall recorded for the newly released Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited Band & Orchestra: Live double album and Blu-Ray digipak.

Now he re-visits Genesis again, this time Dancing With The Moonlit Knight at York Barbican.

Steve Hackett, Selling England By The Pound, York Barbican, Tuesday 19 November, 7.30pm.

Charles Hutchinson

Finch and Keita to play summer gig with Canadian trio Vishtèn at Pock Arts Centre

One-off collaborative tour: Catrin Finch, Seckou Keita and Vishtèn to play Pocklington next June

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita and special guests Vishtèn will bring their one-off collaborative tour to Pocklington Arts Centre next summer. 

Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Sengalese Kora maestro Seckou Keita, will perform with Canadian multi-instrumentalist powerhouse trio Vishtèn on Saturday, June 13.

Finch and Seckou, who played the National Centre for Early Music in York on October 20, were named Best Duo/Group in the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, while Seckou also received the award for Musician of the Year. 

Since forming their partnership in 2013, they have released two albums, Clychau Dibon that year and Soar in 2018.

Arts centre manager James Duffy says: “I saw Catrin, Seckou and Vishtèn’s first ever public performance together in Canada, as part of a Music PEI Showcase in October. The response that night was truly wonderful and deservedly received a standing ovation. 

“It’s a fantastic collaboration that blends folk/roots and world music between these two highly regarded artists.  Thanks must go to Focus Wales, Music PEI and Theatr Mwldan for bringing this show to Pocklington in 2020.”

In September, Finch and Keita travelled to Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada to meet and collaborate with Vishtèn, who are flag-bearers for the Acadian musical tradition globally. 

Now, this collaboration will be heading to British shores in a one-off tour that will combine sets by both artists with a special set featuring new material by Finch, Keita and Vishtèn together.

In the Vishtèn line-up are twin sisters Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc, from Prince Edward Island, and Pascal Miousse, a direct descendant of the first colonial families to inhabit Quebec’s remote Magdalene Islands. 

Pocklington’s audience can expect tight harmonies, layered foot percussion and a trademark blend of fiddle, guitar, accordion, whistles, piano, bodhrán and jaw harp. 

Tickets for this 7.30pm concert cost £22 on 01759 301547 or at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

Charles Hutchinson

Review: Kelly Jones, Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day Tour, York Barbican, September 14

Kelly Jones: “Overcoming things and moving on”. Picture:Simon Bartle

THIS was a solo show, except that it wasn’t a solo show. First up, Dwight A Baker and Patricia Lynn’s country-noir duo The Wind And The Waves, from Austin Texas, thoroughly justified Kelly Jones’s invitation to tour with him: the best support act in ages at the Barbican, with song titles as sharp as This House Is A Hotel (for grumpy teens) and a queue at the merch-stall afterwards.

In Jones’s words, “this tour is about overcoming things and moving on from obstacles and building strength from that”. This sentiment is reflected in Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day, the title of the upcoming Stereophonics album, out in October, and trailered here by a band who “learned the songs in five minutes”.

The title number and This Life Ain’t Easy But It’s The One We All Get conveyed Jones’s apprehensive yet defiantly hopeful tone on a night when he revealed as much in his storytelling from his back story, as darkly humorous, poignant and South Welsh-rooted as Dylan Thomas’s writings.

He opened by talking about once-a-week, Sunday childhood bath time, third in line behind his brothers for the increasingly dirty water, as he set about song writing from the age of eight when they removed their improvised “ghetto blaster” each week. He now had 160 songs, from 12 or 13 records, to pick from, songs familiar and rarely performed from Stereophonics 22 years and his 2007 solo work, Only The Names Have Been Changed.

The names this particular evening were Jones on acoustic and electric guitars, stand-up and grand piano; Gavin Fitzjohn on piano, guitar and exquisite trumpet and Fiona Brice on violin and piano, constantly swapping places and roles, joined by drummer Cherisse Osei, hair blowing wildly behind her as if in a wind tunnel, and even she switched from one drum kit to another. Rather than being restless or breathless, there was an arc and flow to the night, songs benefitting from new arrangements, such as Jones and Fitzjohn perched on high stools for a ukulele account of Rewind.

The stories were heartfelt, one taking in early days with Stereophonics’ Stuart Cable, his mother by the name of Mabel Cable and Keith Richards’ shepherd’s pie dressing-room rules, before his abiding sense of Cable dying too young poured into Before Anyone Knew Our Name. “I miss you man,” he sang, the pain still raw in that soulful voice, the best from Wales since his fellow Jones, Tom.

Kelly recalled his callow football days, playing up front of course, but this was the cue for debut single Local Boy In The Photograph, his tribute to the team’s right back who threw himself under a train.

Not only the tour, but so many of Jones’s everyman songs are about “overcoming things and moving on from obstacles”. Even his first choice of cover, Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make It Through The Night, a song his father sang in his working men’s club gigs, now carried that weight.

The second, Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, had Jones and Patricia Lynn mirroring Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks to the max.

A medical emergency in the audience brought the show to a halt for 15 minutes, handled suitably respectfully by band and audience alike, and the usual 11pm curfew was subsequently waived, enabling a hits-heavy singalong encore of Maybe Tomorrow, Traffic and Dakota.

More frontmen of Jones’s standing should do shows like this: seeing him and his songs in a new light.

Charles Hutchinson

Review copyright of The Press, York