Jon Byrne has come a long way since the dark days of his substance soaked 2009 debut album It’s Boring Being in Control.
Playing at the Naked Lunch cafe, Smithdown Rd on Saturday evening he packed a huge punch with his close-to-the-bone, unapologetic lyrics in the warm and intimate atmosphere.
In today’s synth charged, auto-tuned culture Jon is a breath of fresh air.
Speaking before the show he talked of his journey to make sense of the world around him, the homelessness and suffering and using his musical platform to bring about awareness and change.
During a trip to France in September last year he began studying Tolstoy’s Gospel in Brief he found a spiritual awakening, one that appears to be his driving force.
“It’s not about religion, it’s about being fulfilled and rich within the soul”.
Drawing parallels with Stand-up comedian and political activist Russell Brand he believes that they would make a strong team by sharing the same stage for change.
“To make all people feel like they’re worth something”
Jon is no stranger to sharing the stage, he toured with Mick Jones of The Clash and has future hopes of working with Nick Cave (Bad Seeds)
After winning Glastonbury Leftfields Best new artist award in 2009 he went on to confront life’s dramas with a hint of humour in his second album Built by Angels, 2013.
This Northern boy whose musical roots are planted firmly in the industrial town of Barrow in Furness has caught the eye of the music press and is staying well put.
Taking a short break from music to enjoy married life and the birth of his child he’s gone from strength to strength and if last nights show is anything to go by we are going to be hearing a whole lot more from the aptly named ‘Bard of Barrow’
With his unique sense of style, Jon delivered his wit, irony and hard hitting melodies to a crowd that welcomed him like a prodigal son returning home.
He’s easy on ears and you can’t help but follow on his lyrical journey, see this newly awakened spirit of love and compassion pushing him on and with a new album already written maybe with one small kindness at a time he can “Put a smile into the hearts of those who need it most”.