Kelly Jones – Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day

Live albums are generally releases that I tend to shy away from.  Stereophonics are also a band whose most recent releases are something I have not paid much attention to.  So news of a live album by Kelly Jones was not one that I initially had much excitement for.  However, that soon changed after hearing an interview with Kelly Jones on Janice Long’s BBC Radio Wales show on Thursday 03/12.  This interview was such a warm genuine human interview between two people who were so comfortable having a conversation with each other.  If you haven’t heard the interview please listen back and hopefully it will have a similar impact on you and encourage you to listen to Kelly’s live album. Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day is a twenty one song collection documenting what has been one incredible ride for a band from the Welsh Valleys.  The songs are stripped down, have been re-arranged,  and are full of emotion with string sections that will simply make your heart melt.  One of the things that has put me off live albums has been I never feel they truly capture what it is like to be at a gig.  However, whether it is because we are all missing gigs this year, but for me this live collection captures that feeling of being in a room with a performer who holds your attention and enables you to forget everything else in the world and focus entirely on what you are hearing.   I have spent days this week where I have lost myself within this album and it truly has been great for the soul. The album opens with Kelly telling us about his introduction to music, coming up with melodies in the bath as an eight year old after his brothers took away the ghetto blaster (ask your parents kids).  Kelly perfectly sums up the importance of music and how he has written songs to help him get through those worst moments in life and then how the songs become ours and we use music to help us in life and to make sense of the world.   This album is a collection of those songs and those moments and starts with a beautiful version of Hurry up and Wait. The album is full of stories including a touching tribute to Stuart Cable.   Kelly tells about the start of the band with Kelly and Stuart living on the same street and they would rehearse in Stuarts house on a Sunday Morning.  We hear a fantastic story of Stuart being in Keith Richards dressing room and a Shepherd Pie.  I would love to tell you the full story but I really will not deliver it in the same way as Kelly so please go and listen to this and I promise it will make a difference to your day.  Kelly touchingly tells us he has a life time of stories for Stuart, the man died too young then gives a beautiful version of Before Anyone Knew Our Name.   A song which until hearing this version I had not heard.  It is so beautiful and in a way reminded me of why I fell in love with Stereophonics in the first place.  Being of a similar age and knowing the area they were from we could complete relate to the band.  Kelly, Stuart and Richard were mates who did what they loved, achieved their dreams and gave us something to believe in.  Morfa Stadium gig in 1999 was the pinnacle of that dream. The version of Local Boy in The Photograph will make you cry.  We all know the story however hearing Kelly tell us about how a friend who he used to play football with came up to him whilst he was working in the market asking him what time the trains were running, then the next time Kelly hears about him its on the front page of the local newspaper as the boy jumped in front of the train.  Local Boy in The Photograph became a celebration of that boys life and again is something that so many of us can relate to.  We all know of someone who has left this world far too early often tragically and this song perfectly captures those feelings and emotions. We also hear how Kelly wrote most of Word Gets Around on the back of the brown paper bags whilst working on the market.  It’s tales like this that allow us to relate to musicians.  We all have words in us, stories to tell and that could have been anyone of us.  Some have a bit more drive and determination which clearly Kelly, Stuart and Richard all had, however, we should all be inspired by stories like this to just write words, write songs, write poems it is in all of us. There is so much more I could say about this collection of songs and stories within which also include one about David Bowie however I have probably taken up enough of your time already.   My final thoughts are just to further emphasise the point that if you are anything like me and perhaps lost interest in Stereophonics.  If you don’t pay much attention to live albums.   Please don’t let that stop you from listening to Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day this honestly will stir emotions in you.  Hearing the earlier songs from the bands career will take you on trip down memory lane and hearing some of the newer songs will at least make you more intrigued to try the latter albums that may have passed you by. With Christmas just around the corner this would make a lovely Christmas present for someone.  

#AlbumReview #don039tletthedeviltakeanotherday #kellyjones #stereophonics

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