There are some bands and artists that I seem to end up tracking for months or even years before putting pen to paper. The Tones are one such band. It wasn’t through lack of interest in what they were up to – just that for a band with such a burgeoning reputation as a live act I didn’t really feel I could write about them until I’d seen them perform. I put that right by catching them headline at a packed Camden Barfly just after Christmas. I was glad I waited – they were not just good – they were electrifyingly good.
The band’s line up has remained relatively steady over the last couple of year’s with Henry Webb-Jenkins coming in for Joem Opina as a slightly manic ball of energy on bass, joining charismatic frontman Jake Cunningham on lead vocals and lead guitar, Dan Foreman on guitar and backing vocals, and James Morris on drums. They form a very tight unit, born of a combination of natural talent and sheer hard work. Caught live by Lynval Golding of The Specials they were invited to join the legendary Ska band’s 2014 tour as support, culminating in sold out shows at London’s The Roundhouse, where they return this Thursday with explosive Welsh newcomers Pretty Vicious.
“Which Way Would I Lie” comes from the band’s debut EP “Simplicity” and is a good showcase for some of the energy from their live shows. But they’re not resting on their laurels and are already hard at work recording demos and tracks for a follow up – insights into which you get from their SnapChat posts, one of the few bands to date to properly engage the medium for its window into life on the road and recording sessions. Formed in 2011 but still very youthful with that experience, 2015 promises to be a breakthrough year for the band.
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Review by Gavin Watson | @watsongc