Monday night at Bush Hall was quite a relaxed affair, with many choosing to sit on the floor when support act Robyn Sherwell took to the stage. That by no means was a reflection on the crowd, as from the opening track Pale Lung, they were captivated by her short but excellent set, which also included a cover of HAIM’s If I Could Change Your Mind. A brilliant opener to for headliner Jono McCleery.
Jono’s music actually came to me on the announcement of Robyn supporting. As soon as I pressed play on his music I knew I had to see this lineup, even if it meant putting about 300 miles on the clock one way!
Bush Hall was near capacity and the room was high in temperature. Although I am new to Jono there were definitely hard-core fans in the room and with exception of about 10 people, everyone was now on their feet. Again the room was silent and only whooping in the appropriate places. It was very fitting for the music that we were witnessing, with Jono doing all the talking with his bassist and drummer adding to the intensity of this jazzy blues-pop vibe.
It is strange to know that Jono McCleery had his first release back in 2008 (purely fan-funded) and has only recently come to my discovery. It is no wonder those in the room were completely in awe of every strum and every word sang. Even support, Robyn, told the crowd how much she was a die hard fan and excited to be there performing on the night. There is a mixture of his slow songs and up-tempo tracks – from Age To Self into So Long and Clarity, the audience goes from stunned stillness into swaying of hips and bopping of heads.
We are then treated to the ‘last’ song of the night, Halfway, and for such a small crowd the applause was quite deafening. Thankfully Jono and band were prepared for an encore, as Jono played Tomorrow almost solo before they all joined in with Sweet Thing, a Van Morrison song that Jono has “never fallen out of love with”, and we certainly haven’t fallen out of love with him.
Words & Image by Victoria Ling