Jon Strong Band – Friday 17 August 2012
Hen & Chicken, 210 North St, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 1JF
Tickets £10. Doors from 7.30pm for 8pm start.
After an 8-year layoff Jon Strong Band are back on the road again including original members Roy Whyke on drums and Duncan Waller on bass.
As a solo performer Jon has toured with Ry Cooder, Van Morrison, Robert Palmer, Talk Talk, Danny Thompson and Clannad. As a band they toured consistently for over 11 years throughout the UK and Europe building a loyal fanbase and achieving much critical acclaim as one of the tightest three-piece bands on the scene.
Jon Strong is a phenomenally good guitar player, in a style featuring blues and R&B mixed in with much more English ideas from the likes of Martin Carthy and Nic Jones.
A cross between Iggy Pop, Ronnie Wood and Lemmy?
He has a uniquely big, ringing, three-handed guitar style all of his own and his bittersweet songs steal the show away from the funky covers of Jim Croce and Lowell George that he alsoincludes in his repertoire.
Jon possesses one of those earthy voices most singers would kill for, a natural brogue, gnarled with years of experience oozing through. His mordant wit is a delight to witness as he cracks up every audience, while reminding us bluntly of music from legends and ghosts from the past in an evening of entertaining song.
“Brilliant.” Bob Harris, BBC Radio
“Highly evocative slabs of industrial folk rock.” The Oxford Curfew
Originally from Leeds this amiable Yorkshire lad began performing professionally from 1973 and took the time to play his way around Canada in 1974 before moving down through America to study the Blues first hand, eventually settling in Southern California for a year picking up on the café songwriting culture.
He then moved to live and work in Holland from 1976 to 1984, using it as a base to tour as a solo performer throughout Germany, Scandinavia and further into Europe, whilst returning two or three times a year for gigs in the UK.
The band came together in 1990 when he met Roy who was then running and playing drums in a Blues club in Barnsley. After initially being given some private financial backing to produce the band’s first album they signed to Linn Records for six years alongside the Steve Gibbons Band and jazz guitarist Martin Taylor. They had a great time playing some plum gigs, festivals and some broadcast work but only released one album for the label.
Tom Robinson reviewing one of Jon Strong’s CDs:
“If this came out with the name Peter Gabriel on the cover you can bet it would be hailed as a major artistic renaissance for a world class songwriter.If it came out with an unknown band name and a picture of a bunch of distrait-looking youths from Bristol on the sleeve, it’d probably win the Mercury Prize.Listening to music as good as this on an Own Label CD-R makes me want to weep with frustration at the sheer idiocy of the business we’re in.”
This looks like it’s going to be a great gig and the venue is also very good. The Hen & Chicken has established the renowned Comedy Box in its upstairs room over the past 8 years and the room itself is terrific. Holding 150 people in cabaret style seating it has its own bar, creating a great atmosphere.
The pub also does really good food and they offer a discount of 15% off the food bill if you book and eat prior to the gig. All you need to do is reserve via the pub itself and tell them you are going to the gig. Full details of menus and the pub can be found on their website http://www.henandchicken.com/
“I didn’t believe you were playing live.” Johnny Walker, Radio 1 live session
“Songs of lyric, texture and power.” Tom Robinson
“Mind blowing acoustic guitar work.” Fibbers Club, York
Reservations can be made via 07766 741417 and your seats will be reserved, payment is taken on the night, or you can just show up and pay on the door, first come first served, space permitting.
Full gig details will be found on http://jazzata.com/ in a few days time.
- Ian Storror