LIVE REVIEW: Steve Mason, Edgar Jones @ Riverside, Newcastle (30.01.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It’s disappointing that for a building with such a beautiful exterior, Riverside is probably the least sartorially elegant rock venue I’ve ever been in (and I’ve briefly lived in Eastern Europe). A less busy, anachronistic interior would make a world of difference.

Edgar Jones, a songwriter in the classic sense of the word, opens proceedings. Although he’s hardly inventing the wheel, Jones’ blues, soul and Motown indebted songs are a charming start to the evening, as is Jones’ endearing conversational stage presence.

Steve Mason’s new album About The Light is this writer’s favourite in a little while, and embraces the soulful experimentalism which coloured The Beta Band’s later material. Taking the stage dressed like Marshall Allen, Steve and his band take us through his last couple of records, with recent cuts Fox On The Rooftop and Rocket standing up among his best work. While it’s unfair to expect Mason to be the freewheeling pioneer he was twenty years ago, the rockist presentation of some of the songs does feel a little lumpen, though on tonight’s evidence he still has the capacity to be a cracking songwriter worth your time.


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