Following the drop of his new album, Chronicles Of The Kid, Seattle-based Ayron Jones came to the Camden Assembly on a night of intimate grandiose.
Camden Assembly – 5 July 2023
Words: Monty Sewell
Photography: Andy Payne
MetalTalk was lucky to have sat down with Jones a week prior. Talking about the new record and the tough-edged journey to his newfound notoriety, the night of his performance was just the tip of a much anticipated, sleek, rocking iceberg.
The rarely-seen sight of a headlining band helping with the setup stimulated a crowd body-shuffle forward as rhythm guitarist Matthew Jacquette, bassist Bob Lovelace and drummer Bobbi Jimmy lined up their instruments.
Camden Assembly seemed to have an epidemic of Ayron Jones t-shirts filling up the sold-out event as it became a testy mission to get a good, close spot in front of the stage. Not before long, the king of cool, master of the Fender Stratocaster himself, strode out onto the stage.
Jumping into three tracks from his debut album (Child Of The State), the band and their shade-donning conductor slice through Boys From The Puget Sound, Emily and Supercharged with enough gusto to lift a monster truck mammoth.
We briefly get a look into the family man behind the music as Jones pauses before heading into the new track On Two Feet I Stand to reach into his pocket and bring out his phone. “It’s my daughter calling. Let’s say hello.” With a mischievous, wide grin, Jones clicks the answer button before turning the screen to the audience. “I’m just on stage, want to say hello?” The audience yells out a heartwarming ‘hello’ before Ayron flips his shades back on, popping the phone back in his pocket, once more initiating his cool rockstar mode with some ear-melting riff work.
Free crescendos with some full frontal axe-wielding gurns – from both Jones and his lip-snarling audience – before Living For The Fall and Blood In The Water demonstrate more stellar work from the Chronicles album.
Lovelace and Jacquette complete the onstage trio with such theatrical comfortability they retain every glance in the room without a blink. Both playful and kick-ass, Jones even stops momentarily to complain that the now sunglass-wearing Jacquette is now cooler than him. “I’ve gotta have something, man.”
Spinning Circles, Killing Season, the hotly released single Filthy and Take Your Name elevate each other to create one hell of a setlist. Though the songs in themselves are commendable in both composition and lyrics on the stage setting, Jones never once lets us forget he is, first and foremost, a guitarist with a name to be remembered.
Slick-fingered and attitude ridden, it is those dives into complete guitar virtuoso from Jones that act as a statement on their own. It is rock ‘n’ roll with an edge, emotion with a punch, and talent with the flare.
With taste and tackle, we get Take Your Name, Hot Friends, Baptized In Muddy Waters and Otherwise with a tip from Jones in a resonating moment for his adoring audience. “Your freedom, you’ve gotta fight for it till the day you die.”
Mercy is followed by new track, The Sky Is Crying, which leads into a blues-infused solo break from Jones. So seemingly in the moment but aware of every split milli-second note he plays, it’s a pleasure to be so close to such talented vigour.
Big hit Take Me Away is the final encore moment. The perfect enigma of a musician almost impossible to pin down, but in such an accessible way that it only brings a yearning for more. Ayron Jones, what a night he brought and what more musical goodness he is most certainly due to bring.
The Heavy North
Support act The Heavy North are the reason why sometimes more is way better than less. The six-piece band from Liverpool brought an incredible amount of energy and sound to the Assembly before their headliner followed on.
Three guitars onstage never sounded so sleek as they go through songs such as Darkness In Your Eyes from their 2022 album Electric Soul Machine as well as new tracks Where Are You Now? And Round Again.
Frontman and The Heavy North proprietor Kenny Stuart brought some gorgeous husk to the set, occasionally whipping out the harmonica to dust an extra bit of rustic blues onto their music. A powerhouse of musicianship, the guys are due to play a twelve-piece band show this December, which I simply must get my hands on some tickets for.