Rik Jones in Session, Sponsored by Symphony Music Wigan
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Artist in residence, Rik Jones
Sponsorship from Symphony Music Wigan
Rik is a Wigan based singer song writer who has recorded 4 albums to date, What’s On The Moon? The Hotel With No Name, What Can’t Speak Can’t Lie and his latest album recently released, It Is What It Is.
His musical influences are vast, ranging from the 1960s to present day. His role models include Oasis and Stone Roses, with his heroes being the Stereophonics and The Jam. So, Rik must have been over the moon when Bruce Foxton invited him to support ‘From The Jam’ at their Liverpool Echo Arena concert, which he cites as the highlight of his career, as well as meeting Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics.
Rik regularly plays across Wigan and won Best Solo Artist at Wigan Live festival in 2017. He has also had one of his tracks, ‘Walk A Mile In My Shoes’, picked as the theme for a film called ‘7 days’, which is currently on Amazon Prime.
Rik is managed by his dad Chris, who along with his mum Jayne are stalwart supporters by being ever present at his gigs throughout the North West.
Symphony Music Wigan
Symphony Music are passionate about the Wigan music scene and were devastated at witnessing their loyal customers losing their livelihoods overnight because of the current Covid-19 crisis.
Even though they face their own challenges as a small business, they generously decided to donate £1000 to show much needed support to Wigan musicians. They asked for 20 artists to perform a short gig from home in return for a small sponsorship. The slots were quickly filled and as a result, Wigan is lucky to be getting online gigs from 20 of the town’s finest talent over the next 20 days.
The first act to kick off proceedings was our good friends, Joe Astley and Zha, soon to be followed by other Wigan regular singer song writers including; Tom Jones, Flynn Murnan, Shannon Gillespie, Danny Fallows, Rob Jones, Sarah Hardman, Tim Critchley and John Collier.
Over to tonight’s gig from Rik Jones
A very silent and eery Sunday evening, 29th March 2020, Rik begins with a slow introduction paradoxically named ‘Hurry Up And Wait’ by his heroes, the Stereophonics. Acoustic, crisp guitaring, Rik sang with pure authenticity sounding like Kelly Jones himself. Its beauty immediately draws you in, instantly forgetting he is playing from a room at home and not being beamed live from a theatre.
Rik then took us for a trip down Stanley Road, with Paul Weller’s ‘Broken Stones’ at the request of a listener. Rik’s professionalism and talent as a guitarist and vocalist are apparent, and the set feels like watching MTV Unplugged. It is no wonder Paul Weller and Bruce Foxton are such supporters of Rik.
What a fabulous way to draw the weekend to a close, with mellow Sunday evening vibes. Next Rik performs ‘Mister Mirror’, one of his own songs taken from his debut album, ‘What’s On The Moon?’
From his grandad’s book of songs Rik chose to play his version of a track he first heard on the album ‘The Who Live At Leeds’, where they also covered the Eddie Cochran classic, ‘Summertime Blues’. The tempo now speeding up, signalling that it’s time to start the rug surfing dance moves, as there Ain’t No Cure For The Quarantine Blues, but Rik definitely provides a much needed distraction.
Moving onto the Beatles’ ‘Help’ a slower more thought-provoking pace to the one we are familiar with and dare I say, a preferable interpretation to the original! Or maybe it’s because that is the mood of the nation at present, nevertheless it was simply stunning.
Rik chose to play more requests, one of which was ‘Indian Summer’ another Stereophonics’ corker. If there is ever a musical of their catalogue, I am sure Rik will be the odds on favourite to star in it, as he manages to do justice to their brilliant song writing whilst infusing his own style into it, no mean feat.
Then onto ‘Slide Away’ by Oasis, again in no way merely emulating Noel’s guitaring or Liam’s vocals but transposing it into his own masterpiece. Striking vocals with a slightly adjusted melody, takes us away into a dream world where you feel hugged and protected by the harmony, a total soul soother. Again, pure talent makes it a version that somehow feels superior to the original. As it ends you could hear a pin drop and I could almost feel the virtual applause and cheering.
And based on my last comments the next track is the aptly named ‘That’s Entertainment’ from the album ‘Sound Affects’ by the Jam, taking me back to the streets of Britain in the 1980s, Rik sings in a storytelling style that allows you to absorb the lyrics fully.
Then we were treated to his famous ‘Walk A Mile In My Shoes’ the theme for the film ‘7 Days’ which documents the story of Dave Healey who was the first blind person to complete 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days in 2008.
Rik closed the show with two true festival anthems, firstly the Stone Roses’ ‘Sally Cinnamon’ which will no doubt have had living rooms across Wigan pumping with chorus, immediately followed by Queen’s ‘I Want To Break Free’, which I can’t help thinking was slightly satirical but nonetheless a powerful and effortless rendition to end with.
Thank you, Rik, for such a wonderful show, a true star and ultimate professional. It felt like we were in the room with you and hopefully we will get to see you gig on stage in Wigan soon and as always be in the company of good people like your mum and dad.