Kelly Jones Releases intimate Live Set
by Geoff Ford
Though the summer of 2019 Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones went on the road, his first solo tour in over 10 years, playing songs he had written that had brought him through the worst of times and telling the stories of how they came about. When the tour was acclaimed by the critics, another 10 shows were quickly booked and filmed by his friend Ben Lowe.
Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day is released by Parlophone Records on 4 December and available on 2xCD, 3xLP and Digital Formats. The 21-song set features some of the Stereophonics’ finest moments reimagined, rearranged and intimately re-recorded by Kelly and his band.
This album captures one of the most distinctive voices in British rock as he captivates an audience through song, anecdote, laughter and lament, and reconnects with the emotional heart of the songs that have grown with him throughout his career. Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day was the opportunity for Kelly to step away from the constraints that come with leading the mighty Stereophonics to create something spontaneous, vulnerable and more intimate. There an honesty, truth and vulnerability to Kelly’s performance, recorded in a variety of locations across the UK.
My only misgiving is, having heard the stories first hand from the concert platform and once again on this recording, I don’t want to sit through them every time I play the album, I am playing it for the music. True, it’s not every song but a brief intro ‘This one is for Stuart’ would help the set flow better, rather than having to listen to the whole story every time, however heartfelt the sentiment is. It could become a little tedious in a few months time…
The album features a reimagining of 18 Stereophonics tracks including, what was then a preview of, This Life Ain’t Easy (But It’s The One That We All Got) ahead of the release of Kind later in 2019. There are also two tracks from Kelly’s 2007 solo album and an emotive take on Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make It Through The Night. Kelly reminisces about his father singing this song to him when he was a boy, just one of the stories that Kelly shares with the audience in this most personal of albums.
Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day also completes a remarkable personal recovery from Kelly, who whilst touring in 2019 kept a secret from his band, crew and producers – a revelation that had threatened to undermine his career and future music making. This hitherto untold story is brought to life in the startlingly heartfelt and deeply emotive documentary Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day which has had its cinema release delayed until 11 December.
“I’ve been to hundreds of gigs in my life, shooting with my camera or purely as a fan, but I’d never experienced a show quite like Kelly’s on this tour,” said speaking of the documentary. “You recognize there’s something pretty special happening on-stage if the performances, and the stories he was telling between them, can make an audience laugh and cry on the same night.
“I wanted to make this documentary feel as truthful and heartfelt as Kelly’s shows. I knew it would be beautiful to hear these songs in a theatre, but I was really blown away. After the tour when Kelly told me about his first few months of the year, I felt inspired by the courage and honesty of it all.”
Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day follows the release of Stereophonics’ latest album Kind, which marked their seventh UK No.1 album. In total, the group have now celebrated 11 Top 10 albums, 24 Platinum Sales Awards, 8.5 million albums sold in the UK alone, 5 BRIT nominations and 1 BRIT Award win.
Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day tracklist:
- Hurry Up And Wait
- You’re My Star
- Wanna Get Lost With You
- Help Me Make It Through The Night
- I Stopped To Fill My Car Up
- Before Anyone Knew Our Name
- Mr Writer
- Local Boy In The Photograph
- Into The World
- This Life Ain’t Easy (But It’s The One That We All Got)
- Boy On A Bike
- No-one’s Perfect
- Show Me How
- Maybe Tomorrow
- Just Looking