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Home » John Paul Jones

The Lyric Theatre, Lowry, Manchester

27 January 2002 2,428 views No Comment

This Review by Dan Smith
This was a concert on behalf of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) in Manchester. The great thing about ‘chariddy’ shows of course is that you get entertaining little guest spots and collaborations. The show was compered by folkie veteran Julie Felix (think Joan Baez-style Dylan covers and you’ll be about right). She did a very good job of introducing the various acts and keeping things moving, standing in front of a black curtain while each band was set up behind it.
She introduced John-Paul Jones, just before the interval, by explaining that he was an old friend and that he was the most dedicated musician she had ever met, even going so far as to “invent a handy little fold-up guitar which fits under an airplane seat!” (Was she was thinking of a ukelele!?) She then called him on to play a duet with her on a Woody Guthrie song which I didn’t catch the name of (Spanish sounding title?) J-P J played some splendid mandolin to accompany Ms Felix’s guitar/singing.
When they finished, the black curtain lifted to reveal Nick and Terl and they launched straight into a heavy bluesy piece with John-Paul soloing away on the mandolin. It all went down well with the crowd who probably hadn’t known what to expect here. They played When The Levee Breaks and Leafy Meadow. Jonesy came to the front of the stage with a ukelele and sang Freedom Song, which kind of reminded my of a Syd Barrett type of whimsical song and is so completely unrelated to anything Zeppelin-like that it may go down in legend. There was a big cheer for the In My Time Of Dying intro which led into Black Dog. The audience didn’t attempt to join in on the ‘ahh-ahh, ahh-ahh’ bits though, despite hand signals from Jonesy. It was a very short set anyway (as they all were – there were a lot of people on the bill) but it had plenty of people talking during the interval.
Other highlights included: A chaotic local band called Homelife – think of all the past and present members of King Crimson getting up on stage at the same time, without Robert Fripp, and you’ll have some idea of their style; Roy Harper played a fine and long version of One-man Rock’n’Roll Band, and had a bit of sharp banter with the audience; Steve Harley did a storming version of Come Up And See Me (‘my pension’ as he called it); and Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings stretched out J J Cale’s Anyway The Wind Blows to about 8 minutes;
Then there was the finale which you always expect at such shows. A nice image was John-Paul Jones and Bill Wyman standing together and chatting as the whole cast sang some protest song or other. Two legends of the bass guitar, but one of them was playing a mandolin.

This from a northern based TBL subscriber:
This four hour concert in the ultra modern Lyric Theatre featured a wide range of music and musicians.Folk singer Julie Felix successfully coped with the difficult task of maintaining continuity during the many band and equipment changes.
She opened with The Times They are A-Changin’ and Masters of War.
Following two local bands and singer Kiki Dee,Julie spoke of Led Zeppelin and JPJ walked on,with mandolin, to accompany her in a Woody Guthrie song.
Then a curtain rose to reveal a large stage,slightly misty with subdued lighting,Terl and Nick and a wall of sound (sound was excellent throughout and this was LOUD).They played six numbers including Leafy Meadows,When the Levee Breaks,Freedom Song,Smile of Your Shadow and finished their spot and the first half of the concert with Black Dog.
Levee was sensational and it was fascinating to hear JPJ sing Freedom Song (Planxty with an English accent!).Lots of wonderful facial expressions throughout.
All very well received by an audience of about 1700.
The second half had Steve Harley,Roy Harper and Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings before a final ensemble for Free The People,JPJ and Bill Wyman standing side by side playing and chatting.
The audience contained a few T-shirts were to be seen- LZ,JPJ tour and Montreux but I got the impression that there were many Steve Harley fans in the audience.
I was very lucky to be with a small group of friends who met and talked to JPJ after the gig. He was charming,friendly and patient as he signed tickets and programmes and as we took photos.
I asked if he was going to tour,”Yes but later on”
A perfect end to the evening and much to look forward to.

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