Can Kelly Jones hold his own as front man of a British rock movement that gave us so much good music to fuck to?
Well, yes and no.
To the purist, the former is of course the only option. For a fence sitter like me, I’d say, if magic did exist, Kelly would just be riding pillion on the broom stick.
Don’t get me wrong. There was absolutely nothing wrong with their performance. The energy was there. Jones’s voice was flawless. His guitar playing was immaculate. The band was tight. The lighting, exotic.
So, what’s the problem exactly?
Let me put it for you this way. You know something’s wrong when Stereophonics is playing Bright Red Star, and the crowd were just talking among themselves.
Sure, we all hate Malaysian crowds. They’re totally primitive and cavemen-like when it comes to genuinely embracing art. But I was standing just below the speakers, my eyes tuned directly at Kelly, straight-on like a moving freight train and as he sang, “Mary, is my bright red star”, I could feel nothing.
No goosebumps. No hair stand. No sudden rise in temperature. No falling of the soul.
Kelly for me, could not hold the mellow songs on his own. With the band shrouded in darkness, and the spotlight focused on him, he felt empty. Hollow.
Not that he didn’t try.
He did. His desert-like voice, whom someone in front of me commented was a cross between Liam Gallagher and Nic Chester, rose to meet every note with steady perfection and serene vibrato. But I could not feel him. Maybe it’s the crowd. Maybe it’s the place. Or maybe I’m being unfair because I wanted him to shut the PA system and walk right up to me, and play it just for me.
He needed the band.
On heavy guitar crunching numbers like stuck in a rut, innocent, the bartender and the thief, just looking and superman – the crowd went wild and jumped and skipped and tangoed with each other. Call me skeptic but it just feels like people just wanted noise and that’s all that it took to get them yelling in appreciation.
Here are my 4 favourite moments of the night, awesomeness in ascending order.
1) When Kelly strapped on his acoustic for the first time to play have a nice day.
2) When traffic came alive, as Kelly announced that he’s gonna go mellow for a bit.
3) Mr Writer with an elongated outtro, accentuated by sexy green lighting that somehow reminds me of Paris Hilton’s sex tape.
4) Dakota as the encore, where Kelly stood mighty as he repeated again and again, “take a look at me now” not stopping till every individual in the venue soaked in the atmosphere ready to go home and embrace their mundane lives.
So back to the golden question. Does Kelly hold his own as front man of a leading british rock band?
But with all due respect, he should look to Chris Martin for inspiration on how to leave his audience exploding with multiple orgasms. I only had one and I know my body was capable of much, much more.
Disclaimer: Dont hate me for the shitty image. I’m not Celeste and i was not born with her photographic blood.