REVIEW gig Jake Evans Live at Alexander's, Chester

Glorious In Chester

Having been stuck in what seemed like hours in a traffic jam on the M56, then getting lost in the city centre, I finally made it through the doors of Alexander's just before 9. I'd already been messaging Jake earlier in the day asking about stage times and trust me I'm never late.

Turns out the first group Valve are just taking the stage. More about those guys in a minute. As I get my bearings in this small but fantastic wine bar I spotted Jake in the courtyard outside. It's the first time we have met and I have to say I like the man as soon as we talk. He is immediately likable.

We talk about New Order and his new album and some young upstart at a certain magazine who reviewed his album without possibly listening to it. We get a drink (thanks Jake) and settle in.

Valve are now onstage and Jake tells me he has been in the studio with them. He urges me to catch them. I'm glad he did. There's a lot going on here. My immediate thoughts where Pink Floyd... but it changes throughout the set. The vocal are gritty and there are certainly some great guitar solo's in this wild set. I notice the guitarist/singers amp cone is split. "Yeah", says Jake " he's going for the Neil young sound". These guys are great. Catch them soon in Manchester at the Night and Day Cafe.

Jake's up next and after a quick sound check which involves singing a little ditty until Jake give the thumbs up. Its great to see how the pro's do it.

'Rise' is the opener. Its immediately apparent its going to be a great night. It still amazes me how a three piece can make such a great sound. And it also shows Jake's guitar skills. However my favorite track follows.

'This is life' is the track that got me hooked on to Jake Evans. I remember hearing this years back when Jake was the support slot at the Manchester Apollo. That song alone prompted me to search for his material, however it wasn't available at the time.

Jake also has an ability to make everyone feel at home. He doesn't shy away from a bit of audience banter. Pre-gig he stood at the bar talking and signing autographs. Its refreshing to see as so many so called stars shy away from such activities as though they really don't enjoy what they do.

Another great track 'Last one Standing' is a firm audience favorite, and even receives cries of 'play it again' from the support group. Its a great live track and showcases some great guitar work.

Then it's on to the new single 'Glorious', a new track that to be featured on the next album entitled 'Feed the Fire' before finishing off with the mighty anthem song 'Easy on my Soul' Brilliant track and the perfect end to a fantastic nights entertainment.

Jake is still on tour. You should catch him whilst he plays these small venues. It may be the last time he does them.

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