Seattle’s hard rocking, blues licking Ayron Jones makes his first appearance in Manchester as part of his first full UK tour.
Earlier this year, Ayron Jones laid down an amazing set at Download Festival (review here). To see him on a tour in his own right was an absolute no brainer.
First up were Amongst Liars; a heavy rocking quartet that have been making waves over the past few years. The band joined us for our Why I Love feature in 2020 (read here), so they aren’t strangers to At The Barrier.
Opening with Black Days, the band lay down an early marker. Over & Over follows and the chug that the bass and drum create is a real rib rattler. The ‘Yeah’ refrain sounds nice and big and definitely needs to have bigger venues blasting it back to the band. Upon early impressions, Amongst Liars have definitely got the chops to go a long way. Throughout their set, Amongst Liars rattle through a short set with little time for breath. Their energy and sound are infectious.
Reign changes the pace a little; a slower pace holds the song together with some huge riffs providing towering flourishes. ‘How are you doing Manchester?’ comes the cry from the stage – so far, Manchester is warming up in the best way. In addition to the music, vocal hooks again play a part. During All Over Now, the three voices of the band combine to create an incredibly catchy melody. It is hard not to be enamoured by this young band. By the time Amongst Liars reach the end of their set, they have warmed the crowd perfectly. Wolf Machine rounds out the set with aplomb and sets up the crowd for their main event. Keep an eye on Amongst Liars.
And so, Ayron Jones takes to the stage backed by his band; Matthew Jacquette on guitar, Bobby ‘Big Sexy’ Jimmi on drums and the inimitable Bob Lovelace on bass. Lovelace is decked out with a wide brimmed hat and a Mudhoney tee; not the only homage we will see towards Seattle tonight.
Before a note was played by the band, Ayron Jones offers an apology for his voice – it is a voice that has relentlessly been on tour for the last year or so. Honesty is always the best policy, and Jones says that he couldn’t cancel the show because the people in attendance mean to much to him.
With fist bumps all round, the band begin with The Boys From The Puget Sound. Bright lights and feedback swirl as Bob Lovelace fires his bass into the air with the opening notes. Deaf Institute is a tight venue but the energetic nature of the band is hard to contain.
Supercharged is just that. Jones and his compadre’s encourage the crowd to clap along with the introductory beat. Not for the first time; Manchester obliges. As the song hits a breakdown in the middle, the crowd help the band along by singing along. This, in turn, helps Jones as he is clearly pushing himself to the limit with his voice.
Thanks is offered from the stage and Jones talks about the relentless touring over the last year. Various places are namechecked when a ‘Don’t forget Download,’ shout comes from crowd. It is met with a large cheer – it appears that plenty of the crowd were in attendance at Castle Donnington.
On Two Feet is a cut taken from Jones’ first album. In finishing the song, he offers up a shout for Amongst Liars who have clearly made an impression on this tour. It is evident at this point that this band are having a great time, even with the struggles being experienced by Ayron ones’ voice. ‘We couldn’t cancel this show…’ is said with a big smile. The reciprocal energy in the room helps the band along.
Free and Take Your Time follow and both showcase the dazzling guitar skills of Ayron Jones. He plays with an air of nonchalance; a little like Prince used too. He picks notes out of the air in delicate fashion, but he can also smash chords out of his six string in the most vociferous way.
Lovelace is a magnetic presence on bass guitar. He fires bass notes into the air like an archer, and Jacquette’s impenetrable smile cuts through the crowd as he flits between rhythm and lead guitar. At one point in the show, Jones appears to have a few technical difficulties with his guitar. Jimmi and Lovelace hold it down with an impromptu bass and guitar solo before Jacquette lays down a wailing solo. What was striking about this was the professionalism that the band show; their intuitive nature to keep things rocking in the face of adversity.
When normal service is resumed, the band fire through three closing numbers. A great rendition of Hey Joe is sandwiched between Mercy and Take Me Away; two of Jones’ finest compositions. The reception from the crowd at the end is one of rapture. On this night, everyone seemed to carry each other on a wave of superb music, great atmosphere, and a helluva good time.
Categories: Live Reviews