Through the summer of 2019 Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones went on the road, his first
solo tour in over ten years, playing songs he had written that had brought him through the worst of times and telling the stories of how they came about. When the tour was acclaimed by the critics, another ten shows were quickly booked and filmed by his friend Ben Lowe.
Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day is a 21-song set featuring some of the Stereophonics’ finest moments reimagined, rearranged and intimately re-recorded by Kelly and his band. It captures one of the most distinctive voices in British rock as he captivates an audience through song, anecdote, laughter and lament, and reconnects with the emotional heart of the songs that have grown with him throughout his career.
It was an opportunity for Jones to step away from the constraints that come with leading the mighty Stereophonics to create something spontaneous, vulnerable and more intimate. There’s an honesty, truth and vulnerability to these performances, recorded in a variety of locations across the UK.
My only misgiving is, having heard the stories first hand from the concert platform and once again on this recording, it’s a drag to sit through them every time the album plays. True, it’s not every song but a brief intro – “This one is for Stuart” – would help the set flow better, rather than having to listen to the whole story every time, however heartfelt the sentiment is. It could become a little tedious in a few months time…
The album features a reimagining of 18 Stereophonics tracks including,what was then a preview of, This Life Ain’t Easy (But It’s The One That We All Got) ahead of the release of Kind later in 2019. There are also two tracks from Kelly’s 2007 solo album and an emotive take on Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make It Through The Night. Jones reminisces about his father singing this song to him when he was a boy, just one of the stories that Kelly shares with the audience in this most personal of albums.
Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day also completes a remarkable personal recovery from Jones, who whilst touring in 2019 kept a secret from his band, crew and producers – a revelation that had threatened to undermine his career and future music making. This hitherto untold story is brought to life in the startlingly heartfelt and deeply emotive documentary Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day which has had its cinema release delayed until 11 December.