Howard Jones and his music are a staple of 80s culture. Not one to be resting on his laurels, Jones has released a new album “Engage” and embarked on a series of small venue show just featuring himself, a keyboard and his stories. This brought him to Minneapolis’ Fine Line Music Cafe Tuesday night.
DJ Jake Rudh started the evening with a great mix of UK (and one lone Aussie) 80s songs. I have yet to see an audience he cannot read or surprise.
Liam Gerard opened with a stripped down band (if you can call 1 guitarist a band). TCM had the pleasure of covering his CD release show a month ago at the same venue. Gerard delivered a smooth set introducing a new song (played for the first time) “Always”. Most of his songs were from his just released album “Belle and Music”, but he did add an Otis Redding cover “That’s How Strong My Love Is”.
Howard Jones took the stage after a brief intermission. As the tour name “The Songs, The Piano & The Stories” indicates this was a one man show. Between songs Howard shared stories behind the songs and from the road. Some stories, like his parent manning the merch table and his mother introducing him on stage with her Welsh accent, only to forget what city they were in, were straight out funny. Others offer a bit of insight and history on his music, performances and rise to fame. The songs included all his classic and the crowd sang along to their hearts content.
It was interesting to overhear conversations at the merch table – I have never heard so many people explain to a total stranger (the merch guy) how much Howard’s songs meant to them.
Overall this was a one of a kind performance to experience and the stories and simplicity made it even better.
Back in Your Life Again
What Is Love?
Like to Get to Know You Well
Everlasting Love (with Twist and Shout by the Top Notes snippet)
Someone You Need
Hide and Seek
Life in One Day
Things Can Only Get Better
No One Is to Blame