Review & Photography by Manny Manson for MPM
I get the call to go and cover a band playing Rock City (BETA) so I head off to Nottingham once again. Waldorf is fireworking tonight so it’s another solo trip.
There’s seems to be a lot happening as I drive into Nottingham, in fact covering less than 3miles takes 40 something minutes, an agonizing drive to say the least.
First up we have Eastbourne rockers ‘Amongst Liars’. This hard-hitting band are born from the untimely demise of two previous bands, ‘Saint Apache’ and ‘Katalina Kicks’. The newly formed band have drawn inspiration from other melodic ‘groove’ rock bands like Shinedown and Audioslave to come up with a package that rocks, and rocks hard.
Kicking off the set with ‘Black Days’ the band are instantly dark and brooding. The dark rumbling bass giving the guitar of Leo Burdett a solid backbone so he can dish out the nasty distorted riffs. Ian George is animated as he prowls the stage delivering his angst filled vocals. Ross Towner is angry as he beats his ¾ size Fender Mustang bass, its rumbling is dark and dirty as it slams into you face. This is a great opening song full of intent and takes no prisoners.
Over and Over’ keeps the energy right up there, starting off with a steady drum beat from Adam Oarton. Fuzzed guitar and bass riff along as George agonises with the vocal. Cupping his mic with both hands he’s down on his knees as he screams out the vocal. The Breakdown has Burdett going into overtime as he fights with his guitar that’s got a mind of its own, in a good way.
Reign’ has a gentler riffing intro has your head nodding and foot tapping, as George’s vocal twists, gently, around the melody. There is an expected anticipation of what’s to come as the song grooves along. And then the breakdown sees the band riffing out, Georges vocal is affirmative in its determination but it never loses the control of its gentle rasping, frayed delivery.
The guitars riff and drums crash but the song remains tight and effective, I’ve got to say that one hooked me in totally. The fourth song has George again delivering a solid vocal, it does seem a bit distorted, and in that maybe not as clear as you’d like, but it doesn’t distract to much from the tune. Oarton, on drums has removed his top, and why not the bugger is shredded, the girls will appreciate that I’m sure.
The energy from the band has migrated into the small intimate crowd. I, personally hadn’t managed to catch ‘Amongst Liars’ before, but so far they were playing a great set. Hard hitting where it needed to be, catchy hooks and loads of activity on stage, I prefer to see and animated band enjoying themselves, warts and all than a static band trying to be textbook perfect. I can get that watching the official video or listening to the album, with all its fluffy bits.
Towner is pulling some great shapes as he thrashes out the melody of ‘Cut It’, is string bending intro is great to see, as Burdett picks it up and drives the song along. The angry chorus pulses on and then we get a nice guitar lick, a tinkling, which adds to the different colours already being thrown at us. The rim shot on the drum also adds a flavour before it thumps into a crushing snare beat, a pause and then pure anger from George as the song throbs towards a crushing finish.
We’re liking this band a lot, the crowd are on board with nodding heads, as the whoah’s start for the ‘Burn the Vision’ A thudding drum beat has the guitars cutting in as George ties himself in knots as he delivers the vocal. The wall of sound is pulsing in your face. The clean guitar in the breakdown is unexpected but works so well.
The tribal drum beat builds as the riffs start and with a flurry of cymbals the song pulses along. This newly formed band are tight and on the money. Final song of the set is ‘Wolf Machine’ with a cacophony of snare drum and nasty guitar building to fast delivery from George has the band bouncing around.
I don’t think there’s been a minute during the whole set where the band have not been animated in some form. Burdett is throwing the shapes as he riffs out, big licks are ripping your head off as the bass is crushing your chest. The drums are pulverising the sound space between your ears as the guitar screams in a terrific fusillade of notes over the top. This is Rage against the Machine in its purest form, a stunning final track and my favourite of the set!
AMONGST LIARS are
Ian George – Vocals, Leo Burdett – Guitar, BV’s. Ross Towner – Bass, BV’s. Adam Oarton – Drums & 6-pack.
Seattle singer, songwriter, and guitarist Ayron Jones plays a fiery fusion of Hendrix, with a bombastic grunge element, and a smorgasbord mix of blues, rock and the occasional venture into hip-hop and soul.
Having formed the power trio Ayron Jones and the Way in 2010. A debut album, ‘Dream’ was released in 2013 after a chance meeting with Sir Mix A Lot, a Rapper, Songwriter and record Producer. The album include DeAndre Enrico on bass and Kai De Pitte on the drums.
His second album was released in the June of 2017, by which Ayron was now a solo artist, his band having gone their separate ways in 2015. The album was called ‘Audio Paint Job’ and is described as being Autobiographical. This sophomore album was produced by Barrett Martin and released via his own label Sunyata. Ayron had reformed The Way for this album, the musicians being Bob Lovelace on Bass and Ehssen Kirimi on the drums.
A guest slot with the Levee Walker’s project ( Michael McCready, Duff McKagan, Barrett Martin and Jazz Coleman ) song ‘All Things Fade Away’ on November 2017 helped to promote his name further.
He was eventually signed to the Big Machine John Varvatos Record Label in 2020. His first single, ’Take Me Away.’ was a top 5 charting single in the U.S. when it was released in the October. This featured Bob Lovelace on bass, Andrew Joslyn on strings, Barrett Martin on drums and Scarlet Parke on vocals.
The following year, 2021, the second single, ‘Mercy,’ followed and went on to the number 1 spot in the charts for several weeks, it offered his take on American unrest seen during 2022-21 in the States . His Third album, ‘Child of The State’ was released in May 2021 to critical acclaim. ‘Spinning Circles’, ‘Supercharged’, another top 5 charting single, and ‘Free’ all followed as singles from the album throughout 2021. In 2022 this carried on with ‘Hot Friends’ and in August released ‘Filthy’, The latest single, ‘Otherside’ was released in early November.
Hailed as not only being one of the biggest up- and- coming names in Rock music he is also declared to be one of the biggest names in the genre. During the summer he wowed fans with his live performance at Download. Classic Rock also gave him the honour of calling ‘Child of the State’ one of their top albums of 2021.
Having started in the humble surroundings of Seattle, Washington, he has gone on to open for the likes of The Rolling Stones, Guns and Roses and B.B. King, and shared the stage with Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, Jeff Beck and Run DMC.
Jones now heads back to the UK for a select number of headline shows in the U.K and France. Tonight’s show in Rock City’s (BETA) is going to be an intimate night of this rising stars guitar and song writing wizardry.
A simple set swap takes but minutes, bass player, Bob Lovelace is on set and I manage to get him to fill in the band members names. There is nothing worse than using old Wiki data and getting things wrong. Argh. Ayron walks out through the crowd, to the stage and initial glances have you double taking as you think its Lenny Kravitz, Beanie, Shades and Nose Piercing all pointing that way.
The band sort themselves out on the stage, and we’re quickly into the opening track, from 2017’s album, ‘Audio Paint Job’ its ‘Boys from Puget Sound’. With its steady riff driving out, Ayron delivers the words. Big Sexxxy is hurting the drums as he lays down a solid beat, Bob Lovelace, in his Cowboy hat is bouncing like a Duracell bunny. He has the moves as he connects with the crowd with his antics. The slick guitar solo rips out, make no mistake, this is not a Lenny Kravitz tribute, its Ayron Jones and he’s smashing it. His guitar is twisting around Matt Jacquette’s Rhymical delivery as they rip it apart.
‘Emily’ quickly follows on, again from Audio Paint Job. Jones vocal delivery is familiar as this one flows delicately over a solid guitar. The breakdown is tasteful and mature, the backing vocals are subtle. I stop and watch as the solo soars out, Jones has stepped to the side and as he does so, Jacquette is looking over his shoulder watching him as plays. This is a great tune, it has something that I can’t put a finger on, I love it anyway, great tune sir!
The single ‘Supercharged’ is up next and is from the latest album, ‘Child of the State’ released in 2021.This follows the same pattern, great vocals and nasty guitar over a thundering drumline. The high energy continues with a thundering start into the Nirvana cover ‘Breed’.
This is delivered in true Seattle Grunge style, hard, fast and in your face. Screaming guitar, and foot on stage Jones controls the feedback as he throws in some guitar acrobatics as this one romps out at you at 100 mph! Lovelace is wandering the stage thrusting his bass guitar neck into the crowd. Jacquette is in the dark as he rocks out, his face with a fixed grin as he does so.
The breakdown has more guitar acrobatics as Jones shows he is the master in his craft, the lights flash around the small stage as he throws out some tight compressed notes sounding at times like a church organ on steroids. This is an incredible display of how to cover a song by a band that pioneered the Seattle’ sound and changed the course of rock music.
Unbeliveable! This is now followed with a chugging guitar line and cymbal crashes as the band build into ‘On Two Feet I Stand’ this being from 2010’s debut album ‘Dream’. It’s another high energy delivery full of crashing drums and soaring guitar licks. Jones even has a falsetto passage which cuts through over Big Sexxxy trying to put holes in the drum skins. The swagger of the solo rips the song apart as the humbuckers on Jones Stratocaster are on fire. So, from an early 2010 belter, we are into the latest single ‘Filthy’ O.K. technically not the latest as ‘Otherside’ has just been released, too late to be included in the set. The vocal is a deliberate delivery, it builds whilst Jones delivers the lyric, Jacquette rips the guitar. This man has the chops as the song soars along.
The band have just jetted in from a tour of Japan, they hit Cardiff, hard on the 4th and are now in Nottingham after a hard night of drinking it would seem, Jones has commented on how the UK likes to drink. This being confirmed by, Amongst Liars guitarist, Leo Burdett saying he got to bed at 8am. Cardiff you Rock!
The tom-tom beats fly from Big Sexxxy, his thundering sticks pounding the start to ‘Killing Season’ another from the latest album. Full of distorted guitar and a bouncing Lovelace, this song grooves along gathering pace up to the solo licks where Jones doesn’t disappoint by over playing. The single ‘Spinning Circles’ from the same album is next. A mellower sound flows delicately from the stage, briefly, it picks up during the chorus, but drops back after ‘so addicted to you’ is sung out during the chorus. The drums are subtle as they push the song along through its rise and fall in tempo’s and ferocity, it never loses total control and is a great display of Jones’s song writing abilities.
‘Free’ again from the latest offering is full of riffing guitar and sung “Oh Oh-Wa-Oh’s”. This is another gentler offering proving that Jones isn’t all distortion and grunge licks. It’s a refreshing break from the hard-hitting distortion from the earlier part of the set. It highlights that Jones isn’t a one trick pony. The chorus effected guitar of ‘Take Your Time’ from Audio Paint Job, is another song that reinforces this point, with tasty guitar runs and a superb melody. The double stops and simple solo are really stunning, and a stand out tune for me, I really loved the vibe to this early ballad.
Another jump forward and we get the bluesy ‘Baptized in Muddy Waters’. The crowd are respectful for this one as Jones, eyes closed delivers a stunning vocal. Normal service is resumed as we get the 2nd single released from the new album. ‘Mercy’.
The pulsing guitars throb along as the song plays out. The bassline in thumping hard as Lovelace continues to rock out, where does he get his energy from. Lights flash around the stage as the solo flourishes, the screaming guitars finally bring the song to an end and into the final song of the set and the first single released from the autobiographical, Audio Paint Job.
‘Take Me Away’ is full of angst, you can feel it in the delivery. The solo harks of Tom Morello with its unique squeals, and the percussive nature of the drums give it a battle like cry. Another stand out song with poignant lyrics and a great melody.
Another song is added to the set as, I’m informed, Bob Lovelace turned his setlist over and held it up, it has ‘One More Song’ written on it. I can’t see from where I’m stood so thanks for that guys. The night is finished with the epic ‘Purple Rain’. A tune he has played countless times. The crowd join in with the words as the songs moves along. The solo is full of the classic Prince licks that have helped make this a song covered by everyone.
It’s stopped midway as a young girl is brought on stage and happy birthday is sung to her in the key of ‘Purple Rain’, she quickly leaves the stage as Jones rips into the outro, his guitar is on fire, screaming with distorted notes, as he does so, Jacquette joins in before Jones brings it down to say he “loves the band” and that they’ve “been touring for over year”, he announces all the country’s he visited ending with a final shout out to playing at Download this summer.
He then goes on to introduce Big Sexxxy on the drums who breaks out the ‘Purple Rain’ falsetto “ooh-ooh-oh-oh’s” which the crowd enjoy and quickly join in with. The song finally being brought down by Jones saying he’ll see the crowd over at the merch table after which he finishes the song with an electrifying flurry of notes, and with a final thank you leaves the stage.
Hitting the road, I head off, having enjoyed a great night of live music once again. Ayron Jones has an unassuming quality about him that belies his talent. Tonight’s set, which included material from his earlier releases, has shown how his ability has grown, not that the previous work is in anyway a poor one, quite the opposite in fact. Ayron Jones is one to watch out for, with his unique style and stunning song writing, I’m sure he is destined for bigger things.
Catch a show if you can, it’s a stunning night out!
AYRON JONES BAND are
Ayron Jones – Guitar, Vocals. Matthew Jacquette – Guitar, BV’s. Bob Lovelace – Bass Guitar. Bobbi ‘Big Sexxxy’ Jimmi – Drums and Falsetto.