Edgar Jones and the Joneses
Edgar Jones and the Joneses @ The Cluny
By BBC presenter Sharuna Sagar
Sharuna Sagar thinks Edgar Jones deserves more attention than he has won so far, going on his performance in Newcastle.
Edgar Jones and the Joneses @ The Cluny, Thursday 17 January 2008
I was unprepared for the first sound that came out of Edgar Jones's mouth. Here's this young white lad obsessed with the sixties letting out a screech more akin to an old black dude from the sixties.
When I tell him he's been billed as Liverpool's answer to Ray Charles, Jones is equally amused, humbled and delighted by this comparison. At this point he offers to play the piano.
Jones is nothing like I remember him many moons ago. The last time we met he was called Edgar Summertyme and his band The Stairs were leading the "cosmic scouse" movement.
It was my first ever interview on camera and, I imagine, his. He was so shy he couldn't speak and I so inexperienced, I couldn't think of any questions. Suffice to say that recording has never made the light of day. Phew.
It's now much more than a decade later, and while I have mastered the art of the interview, Jones has become master of his art - namely starting his own bands (The Isrites, The Big Kids, The Jones's), playing in other bands (St Etienne, Paul Weller's) and collaborating with people in well known bands (Lee Mavers, Jonny Marr, two of The Zutons, Howie Payne from The Stands...you get the drift).
Now his latest incarnation as Edgar Jones and the Joneses has taken jazz, funk, soul, ska, doo-wop and rock 'n' roll then created something really quite special. Yoo hoo! Over here Mr Holland. This has got Later With Jools written all over it.
But tonight, taking time out of playing with Candi Payne, the band revel in the chance to cut loose and jam.
Their set list rides the waves of a changing tempo and groove. Armed with just a cow bell and a Louis Armstrong voice, Jones's performance is compelling and surprising.
His face contorted with intensity as he lets out notes from somewhere deep in his soul. As he claps along and smiles to himself, Jones is clearly living in the moment and loving it. Suddenly you find yourself wanting great things to happen to this artist.
Impressive back catalogue
Noel Gallagher told the press that the debut album Soothing Music for Stray Cats "bent my head" and is "one of the best records I've ever heard."
But despite the Mercury Music nomination, an impressive back catalogue and the unreserved respect of his peers, the big time has eluded Jones and his big talent.
He uses the phrase "slowly slowly catchee monkey" when describing his career but I suspect now he's just happy to enjoy the thrill of the chase.
The last song of the encore, is a rendition of What’s Goin Down Huny Brown? It seems I'm not the only one who got good with the questions...
last updated: 29/01/2008 at 11:00