Live Reviews

2023/11/15 – Far From Saints – Town Hall, Birmingham

Review & Photos: G. Rossington.

Side projects these days are often viewed with a pinch of salt as they can either be dire or as good as the main act. If someone goes out of their comfort zone and tries something a little different, it’s usually frowned upon by the fanbase. Far From Saints appears to have bucked that trend in the proof of a number 1 record, a mostly Sold Out UK Tour and multiple festival sets over the recent Summer period.

Having originally met each other in their respective bands back around 2013, the alt. country blues formation of Far From Saints between Kelly Jones (Stereophonics), Patty Lynn & Dwight Baker (The Wind & The Wave) really took up momentum in 2019 when Patty & Dwight supported Kelly on a solo UK tour.

Having released their critically acclaimed ‘Self Titled’ album earlier this year, the band are now embarking upon a huge tour of the UK and Ireland which will see Kelly playing some of his most intimate dates in a long time. Opening the show is the sweet velvety vocals of Maya Lane who in just a handful of self-penned songs and a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’, soon wins over the delighted audience and sees them suitably warmed up.

With a huge curtain covering the magnificent organ in the Town Hall, the stage is decked out in fairy lights, various lampshades and multiple rugs. As the band arrive to a rapturous applause, Kelly greets us on the mic and introduces the first track ‘Screaming Hallelujah’. From this first slice of the night one thing becomes clear, their live sound is vastly amplified compared to the record.

The harmonies between Jones and Lynn are phenomenal, the guitar tones are lush, and the percussion and rhythm is perfectly driving.

‘Faded Black Tattoo’ is next followed by (as Kelly introduces) “the first this you ever heard by the band”, the sublime ‘Take It Through The Night’. It’s on this track that Patty seems like she is starting to relax, she removes the mic from the stand and begins to prowl around the front realms of the stage as her vocals soar around the venue. This is counteracted 2 songs later by the band introducing a brand new track in the shape of the recently released ‘The Weather Left To Go’. This stomper again sets the audience off and seem to be enthralled at the admittance that a “whole host of new tracks” have been written recently.

Dwight Baker takes over lead vocal duties as the band run a cover of Cheap Trick’s ‘I Want You To Want Me’. At this point the gig moves up a notch and elevates to a new tempo that continues through the majority of the set. A cover of Stevie Nicks’ ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’ is sublime and harks back to Kelly, Dwight and Patty’s first collaboration when they performed it together in 2019.

As we head towards the end of the main set, another cover, this time The Allman Brothers Band’s ‘Midnight Rider’ again amplifies the atmosphere, by now even the majority of those seating upstairs are on their feet. ‘Let The Light Shine Over’ from their debut follows. The set is completed by ‘The Ride’, another of the rockier tracks from the album and excels in the live arena.

A blistering solo from Kelly complimented by some slide guitar courtesy of Justin Beynon which then sprawls out to a full on Mid West style boogie.

After a very brief hiatus, the band return for a 3-song encore comprised of covers. Kicking off with Cher’s ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’ and segueing in to The Ronnettes ‘Be My Baby’, this shows off Jones’ raspy and soulful growl again complimented by the harmonious angelic tones of Patty Lynn.

The final song of the night is a rendition of Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl’. This again sees everyone in the seating area on their feet and the stalls singing along. As the band bid us a farewell and give us the traditional “we’ll see you again soon”, the night has drawn to a close. Quite simply, the night was an incredible slice of Americana that managed to warm the hearts of everyone in the room on a cold night. As the audience begin to file out in to the wintery cold outside and the bustle of the German market, Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ is blasting over the P.A. and everyone is in a jubilant mood.

Despite Kelly having mentioned that a number of songs have been laid down recently, we are aware that both Stereophonics and The Wind and The Wave are gearing up for new releases in 2024 which begs the question how more material will be presented. In the meantime, as the band tour throughout the remained of November and in to December, there are still a handful of tickets available for selected dates.


Editor & Photographer. Eclectic music tastes and fan of a good beat. Can usually be found at a Gig across the Country or at a Festival in the Summer - More than likely with a camera surgically attached to me.