Record Overplayed
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Andy Jones | Stockton Riverside Festival / Green Dragon Yard | 03/08/03

Andy's Flamenco Festival Fever

Gig Review by Dawn / Photo from FTwL

Of the many reviews from Teesside venues on Record Overplayed, you’d be hard pushed to actually find one of a North East artist. In which case, Stockton singer-songwriter Andy Jones is somewhat unique – and in more ways than one. Not for him the tried and tested route of stereotypical solo artist on acoustic guitar; Andy prefers to complement his Northern roots with more than a hint of Latino spirit in a live performance so powerful you have to look twice to remind yourself that he really is only one man and his guitar.

The story goes that Andy travelled to Spain and fell in love with Flamenco, and bizarre as a Teesside bloke performing a pop/folk/flamenco hybrid may sound, it really does work wonderfully; with his spellbinding guitar work and a vocal range to rival Roy Orbison’s, there are constant opportunities to marvel at his performance. The instrumental Rumba Flamenco opened the show, setting the precedent for the Latin-inspired songs which followed, including the more pop-tinged Sail Away and the amazing Valencia, which saw his vocals climb higher and higher whilst never once missing a note. Highlight of the set, though, was last song Girl; a catchy, upbeat number which saw Andy whistling mid-chorus among the fast-paced vocals.

 

 

Unusually, even for the up-tempo numbers, Jones spends the whole half hour seated behind his microphone, guitar balanced on his knee. “I’m not a great conversationalist”, he smiles mid-set after commenting on a crowd member’s Smiths t-shirt. Indeed, the only blot on his copybook is to mention during his onstage chitchat his belief that Robbie Williams is a good entertainer, jokingly questioning why we’re all crammed into the tiny Green Dragon Yard when we could be at Knebworth watching the ex-Take That man. But given the choice between battling traffic chaos to watch the irritatingly-voiced Williams strut around a stage, or listening to Andy Jones’ soaring vocals whilst watching his hands become nothing but a blur over his guitar, I’m pleased to have chosen the ten minute drive into Stockton-on-Tees. Crowd size means nothing; Robbie Williams could only dream of being this talented.

Thanks to Andy for the setlist. For more information visit www.FTwL.co.uk.

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