Of all the perks of being an artist/running a music night, surely the best of them all has to be ‘You get to meet lots of really incredible artists.’ Artists you love enough to champion to mates and strangers like it was your own material. Artists who take your breath away whenever they breathe on a mic, whose art make it past ‘yeah yeah I heard your CD, liking the vibes, safe’ and nestle themselves in the middle of your favourite favourite starts-with-Prince-ends-with-Rufus-Wainright playlist for years. Step forward, Jono Mccleery.
Jono has performed at Poejazzi more times than any other artist in our history; every time he’s featured has been amongst the very best nights we’ve had. One of my few claims to fame is donating towards the production of his Darkest Light debut LP (best tenner I ever spent). Humble to a fault, with a voice somewhere between Jon Lucien on Rashida and Bill Withers spending a night at a British B&B, he is an atmosphere machine; he opens his mouth and that dingy moldy cramped basement you called a venue is suddenly everyone’s living room sofa. Overlooking Niagara falls. Bathed in sunset light. And a rainbow; gotta get a rainbow in there. And birds, lots of birds, singing. You get the drift,.
It has been a pleasure watching him go from strength to strength (I remember yelping with delight and kicking/breaking someone/thing in joy when I heard he’d signed to Ninja Tune) and I’m glad to report his first album under their label, There Is, is this year’s Unrivalled Joy. Seriously; people toss words about on the internet because they cheap, but I mean unrivalled, as in there is no rival, nothing else matches up, comes close to the soul this album drips of, it’s the closest to perfect as you’d get, you’d be hard pressed to find something as ‘joy’ as this; 2011’s Joy has been comandeered by Jono.
Imagine Fink steroided with even more True British Soul/Folk and you’d not be far off. Calming, haunting and gentle, with the kind of measured skill that gigging endlessly in the Harsh Indifferent Seas that is the London Music Scene can give a talented artist. Nay a single duff track from start to finish; it’s a confident statement of intent from one of Britain’s most promising singer songwriters. Listen to a mini mix of the album, below.
I’d finish off by saying so see him perform on the 13 oct at the Queen of Hoxton, but that gig is sold out. [UPDATE: New date, 30 November at 100 Club, here] Buy the album, then, here. I guarantee it’ll give your music playlist a lot more hmmmmmm.
Aaaaaaaaand here’s a track off his live album for your listenables, So Long: