^ Upstairs ^
Tickets available from Ticketmaster and wavtickets.ie €15 includes booking fee
Jon Allen has a voice you don’t forget. Just ask Jools Holland, who demanded Jon appear on “Later…” after hearing him on the radio. Or Duffy, who heard his version of “Mercy” and called him in to the studio – only to find that he wasn’t the black soulman she had imagined. Or the millions of viewers of “Homeland” transfixed by his track “Joanna”. Or the BBC producers repeatedly A-listing his songs. Or fans Guy Chambers, or Mark Knopfler, or Jo Whiley, all of whom have been entranced by his trademark mix of catchy tunes and folk- and Sixties-inflected country blues.
It was “In Your Light”, taken from Jon’s 2009 debut album Dead Man’s Suit that landed Jon a coveted spot on “Later… with Jools Holland”. Introducing Jon, Holland described how he heard him on the radio and had to Shazam the track with his mobile to find out who the singer was before insisting he was booked for the show. “It was one of the most amazing voices I’ve heard this year,” he explained.
Radio 2 had also picked up on “Mercy”, Jon’s collaboration with the band Third Degree that really shows off his soul-vocal chops. “Duffy heard it on her tour bus and contacted my manager. I ended up in Sting’s studio in north London doing a session with her. She was stunned. I walked in and she thought I’d be black.”
His new album, “Deep River”, contains some of his best work. To Jon, it’s simple. “I just try to write music that moves me. I’m trying to express some truthfulness. There’s no gimmicks, no beeps and whistles.” On it he channels everyone from Dylan to Shakespeare, via Al Green, JJ Cale and John Martyn, and even manages to write a romantic song about bankers (“I know there’s not a lot of sympathy for bankers, but you can get off on retribution, and it’s dangerous”).
He says: “I feel a bit like I’m an outsider, now. I’m very inspired by music that feels like it comes from one of the main tributaries of blues, or jazz, or that kind of heritage. But it’s OK because there’s no such thing as a scene any more. You can jump out of the ground looking like 1959, 1979, 1989…”
– 50c per ticket service charge applies on phone, internet or creditcard bookings. Final ticket price may be higher from other outlets.
Strictly over 18′s, I.D. may be required.
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the bands playing The Midnight Hour in the upstairs venue (FREE ENTRY, 12am).