17/11/2010 | Ruarri Joseph – Lexington, Angel

Simi Bhullar

As soon as it turned 9 o’ clock the public mass upstairs in The Lexington increased by ten fold. That’s not to say the supporting band was bad, merely the room was filled for Ruarri Joseph. My perfect view soon became a ‘tall man wall’ as the draft from the overhead fans quickly weren’t cooling enough. And then the 4 musicians appeared. They were greeted by a loud cheer. I was clearly outnumbered on being a first time viewer, these people were not here by accident. Before the cheers had time to quieten down the first song was introduced: The Raining Stone. The instance he started singing there was silence, as if everyone was compelled by his commanding but kind voice. And soon enough, all the other band members were singing. This wasn’t to be the first time that I was surprised at the beautiful sound that came from the four men on stage, nor was it the only time that Al Jones on the electric guitar stopped my hand by the lulling yet clean sounding hook.

I, like everyone else in the room, was completely transfixed by what was going on stage that it was only during the fourth song (As Always) that I noticed the pink hue in the room. The change of pace in the music allowed me to snap out of my locked gaze and stare around the room. Though no-one was really dancing there was an ethereal bop that passed through many that seemed to reflect the light bounce that in turn passed through the musicians. And it was only during the 13th song For The Love Of Grace that I even registered the decor of the venue and took time to note it down. It seemed to be the perfect fitting. With the dark walls (red velvet patterned) and the red velvet curtains the venue seemed to mimic the sound of Ruarri Joseph: depth without obscuring darkness, intimate but not closed.

Each of the 17 songs that were played (yes, I noted down every one and all the names) were unique and came together to form an impressively diverse set list. But even with the slower tracks that perhaps had a darker side such as Janie (a Grey Dog cover) I never felt completely sad, he sang with such hope and conviction that it seemed there was always a silver lining. I couldn’t work out if it was due to the little smile that tugged at the corners of his mouth constantly, though I assume the smile was an uncontrollable response to the event as a whole. Ruarri Joseph and his band of Jones’ (not related) were clearly very happy to be in The Lexington playing to London’s crowd. When they finally finished after another two song encore Al Jones, Ryan Jones, Harry Jones and Ruarri Joseph seemed so humbled by the applause and support they received. These men do not know just how good they are.

www.ruarrijoseph.co.uk