Review: John Owen Jones, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Following on from his recent appearance in Tiger Bay, Welsh stage star John Owen-Jones entertained in a solo concert on Thursday evening at St David’s Hall.

The Llanelli born star is probably best known for his portrayals of the iconic leading characters in The Phantom of The Opera and Les Misérables.but as the solo show proved, John is also a consummate performer generating a warm and welcoming atmosphere mixed with playful banter throughout the show.

Accompanied by his band,  highlights from the first half included This is the Moment and Why God from Miss Saigon which seamlessly transformed into Anthem, from Chess. John also included an explanation of his “lucky daps” which although didn’t go with his outfit, were important for him and his performance.

My favourite song of the first half was his rendition of  Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, (from Phantom of The Opera) of which it was nice to hear his treatment of a song usually associated with a female singer. The finale followed with a faultless performance of The Music of the Night, (also from Phantom) a piece he has already performed nearly 2,000 times,

The Second half opened with two lively performances of Feeling Good and Motherless Child of which he described as a homage to Tom Jones.

The next segment featured some songs from not so famous musicals, New Words from In The Beginning (an off Broadway musical) and I’d Rather Be Sailing, from A New Brain

The big finale of the concert was the Les Misérables section, of which John opened with a song from the character of Marius, Empty Chairs. John then teased the audience that he was going to finish with   Suddenly and not sing Bring Him Home but then segwayed between the two songs to finish on Bring Him Home.

For a fun and relaxing evening of music I’d highly recommend anyone to purchase John Owen Jones CD’s (he informed the audience many are filling up his garage) or failing that, go and see him in concert the next time he tours. 

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