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"Jonathan Powell's Folk/Roots blend is music that's hard to beat as he delivers a consummate live performance with his band at The Regal Rooms, Hammersmith Read more at Suite101: Jonathan Powell Live At The Regal Rooms In London"

Wednesday night at The Regal Rooms is always a relaxed and warming affair, that is until the band of welsh vagabonds fronted by Jonathan Powell took to the stage. A storming performance by Powell and his gang. A set complete with viola livened up the audience to near hysteria and announced that a rare talent and multi layered musician had arrived on the scene.

Wales' Finest
Jonathan Powell is astoundingly brilliant. His performance at The Regal Rooms, Hammersmith was on the edge and full of verve. From Cardiff and on the Still Small Voice label, Powell and his band of welsh gypsies delivered songs with a real unity and lifted the crowd to raucous applause and hysterical joy on what had up until then been a slightly subdued evening.

The First Set
“Old black Joe” opened the set and we are introduced to Powell’s rootsy blend of folk/country reminiscent of a more potent version of The Las. The slickness of the band made up of bass, cajon, guitar and Powell on vocals and viola is evident straight away. The music is delivered precisely and the assuredness of the performance display a band that has worked hard and come a long way to establish their sound.

Standout song is the unashamedly gypsy “Unforgiven Days” the opener to Powell’s debut album Forgive This Day with its chanted and voodoo like chorus, ‘she’s dead….. snakes in the garden, spiders in your bed.’ It really is great stuff. The superb and mercurial Powell fleets between vocals and Danse Macabre like viola fills. It is wonderful to listen to and to watch and is a performance reminiscent of the Pogues in their younger days.

The Second Set
In the second set Powell dons his guitar as the audience is introduced to another side of this multi layered musician. The songs are more delicate when without viola, standout song being “Twilight Boy” with it’s Tracey Chapman like guitar lines and hugely uplifting Tom Petty-esque sing a long chorus. A sound akin to some of Powell's peers on the UK circuit such as The Lost Society, Ruby Galliers and Ed Hope.

The Music Of Johnathan Powell
Powell’s music can be raucous and fever pitch yet at the same time is also delicately crafted and beautiful and one cannot help but like him. He is charismatic and interacts well with the crowd, particularly when he mimcs stroking the audience during a particular section of between song banter. He is on the edge, a loose cannon and has all the characteristics required of a rebel rootsy performer. He will do as he pleases and his faithful gang of troubadours will follow him!

Read more at Suite101: Jonathan Powell Live At The Regal Rooms In London

- Simon James, Music writer for Suite 101

"Jonathan Powell 'The Flight & Other Stories'"

A Tabloid fixture on account of his romance with Charlotte Church (Who adds backing vocal here), a singer-songwriter Powell sets ten short stories to music on his second album. Powell is at his best when he keeps things simple, with The Pursuit a haunting acoustic piece.

*** ( 3 stars) - The Daily Mail


'The Flight is a mightily ambitious, yet brilliantly composed challenge to the listener, both impressive and bewildering.' - THE MINIATURE MUSIC PRESS


'The Flight & other stories' release date 07 February 2011
'Forgive This Day' debut album released 2009



If the telling of a man's life were convenient, the ballad of Jonathan Powell would begin in a pub.

When he wasn't pulling pints behind the bar at The Robin Hood in Cardiff, he ran the open mic sessions, where the owner's daughter would often join him for a singsong.

When Jonathan launched his 2009 debut album, Forgive This Day, she joined him onstage for old time's sake. That landlord’s daughter just happened to be Charlotte Church.

The epic landscapes of Jonathan's baroque pop so impressed Charlotte that he wound up writing much of her latest album, Back To Scratch, and when the time came to return the favour, Charlotte provided backing vocals for Jonathan's new album, The Flight And Other Stories.

“I wasn’t particularly interested in working with someone who was of no musical interest to me, but she is actually one of the most intuitive musicians I have ever met. So I didn’t work with her because she was Charlotte Church, I did it because we fitted together. “

So far, so convenient. But Jonathan's musical story goes back so much further than the red-top snap-shots, to a childhood filled with music.

His career really began when, as a teenage viola virtuoso, he won the National Chamber Music Competition five times and studied at London's Royal Academy of Music.

By the age most people dare to think about a career in music, Jonathan was ripping up what he had learned. He strayed from classical to pop at 18 and, after taking an award-winning play to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, he stayed in the city. It was a turning point.
Immersed in Edinburgh’s music scene, his ability as a singer and multi-instrumentalist matured. His ability matched his ambition and his own songs poured out.

His blend of influences can echo Elbow or Jeff Buckley in an incredibly versatile vocal, but can equally hint at songwriting heroes; David Bowie, Ben Folds and Gary Barlow. And they are all distinctly Jonathan Powell.

He returned to Cardiff, wrote his debut album, started a record label on which to release it, and in the process, won the blessing of the Church.

Work on his second album took place in a tumultuous but deeply inspiring time in his life. His connection with Charlotte meant this quietly confident but private individual found himself spilled unwittingly across the covers of tabloids and 'celeb' magazines. But being that far outside his comfort zone led to his best songs to date, the 10 tracks that comprise The Flight And Other Stories, released on Still Small Voice, the label he formed with producer Gethin John.

And that's where his future lies, not as a tabloid gossipmonger's plaything or a celebrity sidekick, but as an artist in his own right.

Befitting his versatility, his prolific skill has already won fans at places as diverse as BBC Radio 6Music and The Sun. He’s bothered the charts with Charlotte and yet retains the comprehensive DIY ethic of the credible singer/songwriter.

Artistically, The Flight And Other Stories often tells the tale of two lovers forced to flee what they know, having set ablaze all that they left behind.

But for him personally, The Flight is the moment Jonathan Powell launches skyward.

The Flight And Other Stories is released on FEBRUARY 07, 2011, on Still Small Voice Records.