Far From Saints perform an outstanding rollercoaster of a set to an intimate crowd at The Glasgow Pavilion Theatre
Tonight’s venue – The 120-year-old Glasgow Pavilion, a stalwart of the Glasgow theatre scene sitting directly across the street from the site of its old neighbour, the legendary Glasgow Apollo. The band: Far From Saints, a stunning musical collaboration and partnership between singer-songwriter Kelly Jones (Stereophonics) and Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker of the American band The Wind and The Wave. Together, they bring their cross-genre sound of country, rock, folk, soul and Americana to the classic, French Renaissance style, Glasgow theatre.
Opening the show was London based singer-songwriter Maya Lane, standing aloneon stage, bar her guitar and a name sign made by her mother, you could have heard a pin drop as her vocals cut through the darkness of the old theatre. Her voice and style reminiscent of a young Joni Mitchell, the Glasgow crowd appreciated every minute, especially her outstanding cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain. Lane later invited Dwight Baker to join her onstage to perform A little prayer a song they co-wrote together. If you like Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, or Joni Mitchell, tune into Maya Lane, you are going to love it.
The fully seated, and somewhat intimate 1449 capacity audience were ready for the main event. The light dim and the intro music starts to play out; Louis Armstrong’s When the Saints Go Marching In. The stage is dimly, but warmly lit, draped with fairy lights and old-fashioned standard lamps, looking more like a speakeasy than a Glasgow stage. From the first note of Screaming Hallelujah, the crowd let the band know they were up for it, with Jones and Lynn’s voices cutting through the cheers in perfect harmony. Jones’s familiar gravelly voice paired wonderfully with Lynn’s powerful, yet soft tones. The opener evolves and builds in intensity giving the crowd a real introduction to the journey ahead. Moving swiftly without any dialog through, Faded Black Tattoo and Take It Through the Night, the audience are treated to a stunning live performance of the album tracks reordered pre-pandemic and only able to be performed now.
The lighting onstage dramatically changes to accompany Let’s Turn This Back Around, the gentle slide guitar introduces us to the song, with Patty taking the lead before exchanging places with Jones, before joining together to perform a massively emotional building duet which genuinely left me fighting back a lump in my throat.
The pace changes again somewhat when Jones pulls up a bar stool and sits front of stage with his ukulele and a single spotlight to perform Own It, which is a wonderfully stripped back version of the album track. A second spotlight illuminates Lynn as she joins him in yet another haunting duet. Not to be outdone, Baker joins this vocal and the Far From Saints lineup is complete.
I wondered how a band with only one album might fill a full setlist, I needn’t have had any concern. We were treated to several brilliant covers across the night, first up was Steve Nicks /Tom Petty’s Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, the song which kickstarted the band after Jones covered it with The Wind and The Wave .
So far, Baker was mostly blending in with the band, standing back playing acoustic guitar wearing a black baseball cap with a “Midnight Toker “patch on front. Shouting over to Lynn, he announces “we all know what happens when this hat turns around…its Party Time!!!” and with that he turn his cap around and bursts into a cover of Cheap Trick’s I Want You To Want Me, with Baker taking on Lead Vocals. This turns out to be just too much for the all-seated Glasgow crowd and instantly they are on their feet bouncing for the rest of the night.
Before there is chance to take a breath, the thundering beat of The Ride starts to rumble through the theatre. It’s a real rebel rousing classic, filling the room way up to the Gods and a perfect close to the main set. With the band exiting that stage, we get that old fashioned foot stomping demand for an encore, it feels and sounds great.
The encore starts with another classic cover, Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down), superbly delivered by Jones and Lynn, bathed in beams of crimson light which amplify the emotion of the song as Lynn gets down on her knees as the song draws to a close.
Adding to the emotion we are then treated to Let The Light Shine Over and the lyrics ” Pick up the things you love, Put down the things you don’t” brings yet another lump to the throat and hairs raised on the neck.
After a rollercoaster performance the audience are in desperate need for emotional release, that arrives in the form of tonight’s final cover – Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s American Girl and the old theatre is once again rocking to it foundations.
FFS that was one hell of a performance.