CONCERT REVIEW : The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022

The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022

HOWARD JONES AND FRIENDS WOW THE INTIMATE EDINBURGH AUDIENCE

80s pop legend is back on tour as a three-piece accompanied by Nick Beggs, formerly of another 80s pop sensation Kajagoogoo, and guitarist Robin Boult, who as a session musician has worked with the likes of Roger Daltrey, Fish, Sugababes and The Lighthouse Family, to name but a few.  The tour would see Jones revisit and rework some of his lesser-known material plus all the big favourites which shot him to fame nearly 40 years ago.

The stage is a simple setup, Howards trusty RD-2000 keyboard, flanked on either side with chairs for Nick on several bass instruments on his right and Robin to the left on acoustic guitar.  A back drop of low-level headlights dimly light the stage bar the odd spotlight concentrating on the main man, creating an intimate atmosphere for the evening ahead. 

  • The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022
  • The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022
  • The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022
  • The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022
  • The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022
  • The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022
  • The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022
  • The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022
  • The Howard Jones Trio, Queens Hall Edinburgh 28th October 2022

The 17 track setlist for the evening would comprise of half album tracks and the other half all the big hitters, and those are what everyone is here for.  Howard starts by introducing his accompanying musicians, and mentions the current Abba revival In London with the artists as holograms on stage. He then reassures us that they are actually real and present in the building!  Assault and Battery, Speciality and Formed By The Stars opened the show.  The music sounds fabulous in the hall, Jones up front sounds as good as he ever has done and is ably assisted by Beggs and Boult.  There is conversation between songs, providing an insight and background to the music, fascinating to hear these stories of how the songs came to be.

First ‘hit’ of the night was by a competitor, Beggs’s band Kajagoogoo, and they have a run through of Too Shy, the bands debut sing which went to number 1 in the UK, with Jones an able stand in for original singer Limahl.  The acoustic setting of this tour sees the music in a new light, and a fresh approach to the songs we know and love from back in the day.  No One Is To Blame is a perfect example, sounding brilliant with just the three instruments and Howard’s fine vocals proving good music lasts the test of time.

The end of the evening was like a greatest hits of Howard Jones’s output.  Life In One Day, Like To Get To Know You Well, Things Can Only Get Better, What Is Love and New Song, the memories flood back in an instant to a time of being a teenager, when music was all that mattered and TOTP was essential viewing.  Terrific music, acoustically reworked but still damn good.  Audience participation was not an issue, the Edinburgh crowd word perfect and great to see the smiles all round from Jones, Beggs and Boult.

One song remained for the encore, Hide and Seek and the evening was over.  The artists took their bows and the crowd mingled out.  The music offered up tonight was a joy, the old classics just never die, and played in a semi acoustic form they lose none of the sparkle.  It was a tremendous evening, a true 80s pop icon performing up close and personal with a back catalogue to please everyone.  Three musicians at the top of their game, just fantastic to listen to and a shame it had to end.

Photographs & Review by Stephen Wilson 

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