Jones opened in a familiar vein, taking an old standard and utilising his marvellous voice to play havoc with the timing of the music and the lyrics. Just in Time was a lovely salute to a past era.
From then on we were treated to an almost unbroken menu of his own originals, often collaborations with keyboards master Matt McMahon. Here in Perth to do this gig and one at the Ellington Jazz Club which has now extended to two shows, Jones is also taking the opportunity to record with these excellent musicians. Who could blame him? The above mentioned McMahon, Karl Florisson on bass and Sven Van der Wal on drums could hardly be bettered.
Jones was attired in a baggily tailored pale suit and with a nod to his jazz heritage, a black polo neck, albeit sporting a zip-up front.
A range of environmentally themed songs included Don’t Jettison Everything, Children of the Future; (an apology) and Mother Earth followed. Among the politically charged issues there were a couple of lesser known numbers such as the Nat King Cole number The Trouble with Me Is You and a John Lennon composition All My Love.
With his trademark melodic hums and musical murmurs between introductions Jones introduced a sense of intimacy with the audience. It’s as if we were sitting in on a private session rather than in an audience.
The Budgie was given a new treatment, making it more of a free-form poem about freedom and, of course, the lack thereof. The introduction to Rainbow Cake allowed a more personal insight into the circumstances of his post war, shell-shocked Uncle Ben. Ben’s sister assigned to the role of his full time carer lured cherished nephews and nieces to visit with offers of rainbow cake. A very moving insight.
I have been an ardent admirer of Vince Jones since I first heard him sing many years ago. His voice is a wonderful thing; gloriously husky and yet capable of soaring lovely heights. Despite the fabulous ensemble work of Jones and his extraordinary trio it’s hard not to come away without a world-weary view of our day and age. His paean of grievances against modern life is all-encompassing. Just as well they sound so good.
Fly By Night Club
Venue: Fly By Night Club | Victoria Hall Building, 179 High Street, Fremantle WA
Dates: 25 May 2018
Tickets: $46.50 – $50
ALSO – Ellington Jazz Club Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 May 2018