Laurence Jones wows Shipston with Album Launch

Laurence Jones with bassist Roger Inniss

Shipston-upon-Stour’s 24 year old Laurence Jones, an award winning Blues guitarist and singer (Best Young Blues Guitarist 2014 & 2015), launched his new album “Take Me High” at Shipston’s Townsend Hall on 5th August to a packed venue of excited fans, introduced by local music promoter and Shipston Proms chair Tim Porter.

The Townsend Hall has a particular place in Laurence’s heart as it is the first place he played live, aged 12, in the Shipston Proms Fame Contest, but didn’t win!. Two years later aged 14 he did take the covered prize, which included a slot on the stage of the last night of the Shipston Proms in front of nearly 1,000 locals in the town’s square.

Laurence was encouraged to start playing the guitar when 11 hearing his Dad Mel Jones playing the Animals hit “House of the Rising Sun”. As he said before the gig “I decided then after hearing my Dad playing the Animals song that I wanted to see if I could be a better guitarist. So he started learning classical guitar, before moving onto local gigs at pubs such as The George in Lower Brailes. I decided that I need to sing as well as play blues guitar, so have been singing with my band since I was 16.”

Laurence Jones in concert in Shipston

He then continued to play more at local pubs, with one of his influences being blues guitarist Sherman Robertson (Louisiana, USA).

He got his first record deal aged 18, after deciding to cut short his Music degree studies to go touring with Jonny Winter, with the highlight of playing at the Royal Albert Hall with Eric Burdon. As Eric was part of the Animals the story had gone full circle!.

For the last 5 years he has been signed to Ruf Records and managed by Golly Gallagher, and since 2014 has been touring in UK, Europe and North America almost continually. He played this summer at the North Sea Jazz Festival at the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam, sharing the stage with Simply Red and Level 42 amongst others.

Jupitronz live in concert in Shipston

Laurence Jones was supported by local 5 piece band Jüpitronz, with Shipston born keyboard player Darren Clarke having known Laurence since he was a small boy!. The rest of the line-up was Steve Eagles (vocals/guitar), Chris Danby (vocals/bass guitar), Claire Hemingway (vocals) and Dean Phillips (drums). They played an energetic set with “Time on my Side”, “Alive” and “Curse of the Green Monkey” the stand-outs.

After a break to re-configure the stage, and chance to get a beer from Chris Mair and his bar crew, Laurence Jones and his band (Roger Inniss – bass and Phil Wilson – drums) took to the stage to a rapturous welcome to a packed hall.

Laurence and his band then wowed the crowds with live versions of tracks from his new album including the title track “Take Me High”, “Got No Place to Go” and “Live it Up”. He then played “Down and Blue” with pyros at the end as a tribute to all Crohn's disease suffers (which includes Laurence). Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines, especially the colon and ileum, associated with ulcers and fistulae.

Laurence also included the famous Jimmy Hendrix track “All Along the Watchtower” with a brilliant rendition along with one of the first songs he wrote “Thunder in the Sky”.

After 3 encores the crowds then queued up to speak to Laurence and his band with chance to buy a signed copy of his albums, with his Dad Mel Jones on hand to sell the fans a t-shirt.

Next up for Laurence was headlining at the Mold Blues Festival in North Wales before a break before more dates in Europe and USA.

Laurence Jones wows Shipston with Album Launch
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 7 August 2016
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