Okay, this is Thank Folk For That, so I understand if you thought this would be another review of some more excellent live folk music…but when soul-sensation Jones came our way, that voice and her music just needed to be recognised, folk or not!
East-Londoner Jones has just released her critically-acclaimed album New Skin, and this month she took it on a mini-tour, with Oslo in Hackney being the final night. The room was literally buzzing, even for her support act Poté, with his electronic sounds fusing with lots of drums and percussion, influenced by his St Lucian roots. Poté definitely had the party vibe going early in Oslo, particularly thanks to his drummer and guest rapper Kojey Radical.
As 9:30 approached, there was hardy any room to move. This was a hot ticket in London, as people had travelled far and wide. I for one had made the journey down from Newcastle, but I heard that people had come even further than that. Jones’ band (Jack Lawrenson on guitars, Clare Uchima on keyboards and Keiran Guy on drums) came onto the stage jamming the perfect intro, before the curtains flickered and the crowd literally screamed as Jones took to her mic and opened with the feel good track Walk My Way. The hits Hoops and Melt then followed as the atmosphere intensified.
Jones is such a humble soul and small talk was shyly made, but the feedback was very heartfelt. However the moment when she says “it’s good to be in London, East London, where I used to live before it became trendy,” had the room filled with laughs. Being humble to her roots definitely warms your soul more to Jones.
Most of the sold-out crowd sung every word to every song, but it was Wild that added more fuel to the crowd, before Jones immediately followed into a cover of Drake’s One Dance. This was a moment to truly savour. After all that energy we were then given the chance to catch a breathe or two with Waterloo, before a shout out to the lovers and the opportunity to grab your nearest and dearest, when we were given the moment to Indulge.
It was fitting that Tomorrow Is New was the final song of the set, as the night filled with a lot of hope and love through the lyrics of Jones. Seeing her perform these tracks made the hairs on the back of the neck stand on end as she delivered lyrics such as, “I know you don’t see yourself the way that I’ve been looking at you.”
With the backing of Radio 1 and 1Xtra there is no doubt that Jones will soon be playing bigger shows, and there will be an arena full of people demanding it!
Words & Image by Victoria Ling