Having reviewed their debut, eponymous album earlier this year it was a sheer delight to see Far From Saints live in the Grade I listed Tyne Theatre & Opera House in Newcastle upon Tyne. The stunning 1100-seater venue was sold out with an eager crowd and, coming on stage to the fitting sounds of Louis Armstrong’s ‘When the Saints Go Marching In‘, the band took the place by storm.
As if they were literally bringing the album to life, the first four songs performed were as the album order: ‘Screaming Hallelujah‘, a beautiful duet in which the blend of Kelly Jones and Patty Lynn’s vocals is something to savour. ‘Faded Black Tattoo‘ is hugely dramatic with powerful electric guitar as is ‘Take it Through the Night‘ where Lynn takes the lead vocal and utterly rocks it. The passionate ‘Let’s Turn This Back Around”s drama and questioning are magnificent, with the music and lyrics ebbing and flowing together with the utmost respect, dynamic and power.
After discussing their raucous night out on the town in Newcastle on a Saturday with, to the audience’s delight, Jones describing it as being “like Vegas”, the band went into their newly released single, ‘The Weather Left To Go‘. Although the song has something of an Eagles feel to it, it is overtly apparent the band have their own distinctive character and sound, making it exciting to know there is more to come from this magical, musical marriage of Kelly Jones with the Wind and the Waves’ Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker. The others in the seven-piece band included Jones’ Stereophonics bandmates Jamie Morrison (Drums) and Richard Jones (Bass), all further beefed up by a superb guitarist and keyboard player.
Jones introduced the night’s first cover after the hooky ‘No Fool Like an Old Fool‘. Explaining that whilst they are still developing their own catalogue, they are supplementing the eleven original songs they have to date with a few favourites. The first was a secure performance of the Allman Brothers’ ‘Midnight Rider‘. An absolutely spine tingling, almost acapella version of ‘Own It‘ followed with the graceful blend of Baker, Jones, and Lynn backed only by a seated Jones on ukelele and tender keys. Striking slide guitar features heavily throughout, not least in the breathtaking call and response that is ‘We Won’t Get Out Alive‘ and the beautifully atmospheric ‘Gonna Find What’s Killing Me‘. In between these two, we were also treated to a tremendous cover of the Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks favourite ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around‘.
Baker takes the lead in ‘I Want You to Want Me‘ (Cheap Trick) with the caveat to “strap in for some turbulence”. Continuing with the gutsy theme in ‘The Ride‘, Lynn rocks out whilst Jones produces more awesome guitar. Some fabulous instrumentals and guitar solos bejewelled the show, with each band member giving it their all, not least in the encore, where Lynn stunningly executed a dramatic cover of Cher’s ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’. The penultimate song was ‘Let The Light Shine Over You‘, which will surely become Far From Saints’ anthem due to its immense and rousing quality.
The band went out on a high, ending on another Tom Petty cover, this time ‘American Girl‘. Fully demonstrating their rich musical expertise and celebrating one another’s immense talents. This tour is, unsurprisingly, largely sold out, although some tickets were still available at a couple of venues at the time of writing. So, don’t delay. Check them out today!