Tomorrow, at the same time, The same feeling will arise, And you will know by then to go.
There are just a few artists that are able to change the evening into magic just by the power of their voice. Striped down, dressed only in emotions, without pretending… One of them is Jono McCleery and I have been lucky enough to see him twice this year.
I think it’s becoming a good tradition that Jono’s openers are young artists mostly unknown by the audience. This time that honour belonged to Robyn Sherwell. I have to admit that I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was not to be disappointed.
Robyn is British singer and songwriter, who just released her debut self-titled album. Her clear voice filled up Bush Hall making a perfect pair with this almost ancient room and a floor-sitting crowd. Acoustic guitar, keyboard, and her vocals it’s a match made in heaven. The fact that she declared herself as a die-hard fan of Jono for sure granted her a couple smiles.
Robyn’s set was nice and relaxing, but the real reason why Bush Hall was so crowded this spring evening was Jono McCleery. There won’t be any exaggeration in saying that he is one of the most interesting British singer-songwriters. I saw him first time live just couple months back while he performed at Royal Albert Hall. I saw him and completely fell in love with his music.
Jono’s songs tell stories about love, and all the smallest but most important things we call life. They sound simple and pure and their strength comes from his soothing voice and gentle accompaniment of acoustic guitar, Milo Fitzpatrick’s double bass, and Dan See’s drums
The set started with one of my favourite songs This Idea of Us. This little gem comes from his last studio album, released in 2015 entitled Pagodes. Along with first sounds the audience slowly gets up on their feet, the music fills up the room and it changes everything…. There was something magical in the air, in the lights, yellow and purple tones catching the chandelier, in the crowd, aware of the moment, in his voice.
From Pagodes to There Is (2011), Jono’s performance smoothly moved from album to album. Going through Ballade, Clarity, Fire In My Hands and Halfway the first part of the set was complete. Jono’s Trio went off the stage leaving us craving for more. The room for the first time that night filled with the choir of hungry voices, demanding another song.
He was back with a stunning solo version of Tomorrow. Performed on his own until he was joined by the band at the end of the song, this version gets a new twist on old. He choose to close the encore with a gorgeous cover of Van Morrison’s Sweet Thing. The set was over and people crowded around Jono and his Trio to have a chat, grab some records or snap a picture. He is extremely talented and down to earth, open person.
For now, I will leave you with his soul touching Tomorrow.
Jono McCleery Trio live at Bush Hall, 23rd May 2016.
Review and photography by Edyta K.