Live review: Rob Jones & Rob White Support from Geoghegan Jackson @ View Two Gallery Saturday 11th May 2013
On my way to the gig I passed a bus load of people dressed as Where’s Wally characters, a gang of lads dressed as Hells Angels with head bands and tattoo sleeves, and bunny girls… lots of bunny girls! As I entered the View Two Gallery it was like I’d entered an oasis far from the madding crowd and well above the hustle and bustle and throng. I had come to hear two duos, Rob Jones and Rob White with support act Geoghegan Jackson.
I walked in to find Geoghegan Jackson doing their sound check so I got to hear them twice. I must say they work well together even though in their own words they come from different musical backgrounds. They performed their self composed songs with Susan Geoghegan providing the excellent varied guitar work and nicely worked harmonies and Helen Jackson providing the warm and soulfully sung lyrics. The songs where as varied as their musical tastes which range from John Martyn, Patti Smith and Nick Cave (one of Helen’s favourites) but also people like Joe Rhead, Johnny Boy and Fleetwood Mac (Susan’s favourite). I found myself singing along with many of the choruses. It would be hard to pick a favourite from their set but I will be putting their EP “Parlour In The Sun” on my mp3 player so my ears are in for a treat this week.
(l-r) Graham Warner, Rob White, Rob Jones, Stu Rimmer
The main act for the night was Rob Jones and Rob White, two musicians who have been playing and harmonising together since school. Rob Jones, who is now a music teacher, plays acoustic guitar and sings and harmonises with Rob White on their album “Thirty” a collection of 15 mostly self penned songs. They were joined on the night by accomplished musicians Graham Warner on piano and Stu Rimmer on alto saxophone. Their musical influences include (and you can hear it in their songs) Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, Dylan and The Everly Brothers to name but a few.
They treated us to a night of contrasts from the big sound of the four piece to the stripped back solo of Rob (just him and his guitar). They have gigged both far and wide, Germany and France to name a few. They performed a varied set with some from the album and some new material and a couple of covers. They opened with ‘She Walked By’ while a more simple version from the full band one on the album, it was no worse for it and the harmony lines were just as strong.
Rob White opened on the 3rd track ‘Monday Morning Rain’ with Rob (Jones) joining in on the chorus the warm melding of their voices on this and other tracks reminded me of some Beach Boys tracks, but as a member of the audience said after the show it reminded her of some Beatles harmonies. ‘Some Other Where’ was introduced as a song with a William Shakespeare title and a Beatles styling in tune and vocals. If you closed your eyes you could almost be listening to a lost Beatles track. ‘I Believe In Day Dreams Too’ was inspired by the death of Davy Jones of Monkees fame, some lovely guitar work accompanied the two Robs on this track.
Rob Jones announced a new song which he said would please Graham on piano as it was more upbeat and had a Dr John flavouring. Rob said it was in a blues style but I thought it felt more like jazz but didn’t suffer for it. Following this the two Robs performed the first of two covers. ‘The Only Living Boy In New York’ a Simon and Garfunkel number. You could see the audience singing along to this faithfully rendering. We had a song from the 80’s and Robs student days next followed by a boy band number. They drew the night to a close with ‘Monday to Sunday’ a foot tapping song, which reminded me of The Lars.
For an encore they they treated us to an excellent version of ‘Baker Street’. As Rob said we could not have a saxophone player of Stu’s calibre without letting him loose on a track.
The night was a very diverse collection of tunes with just the right mix of covers which showed off the musicianship of the group. Ill be listening to both the CDs this week and looking forward to the next visit to the oasis which is the View Two Gallery. By the way… does anyone know if they found Wally?