photo courtesy Patrick Raty
|Review of Diana's London Concert 2021
The Union Chapel in London’s Islington was a suitably atmospheric venue for Diana Jones’ show on her return to London. Having been rescheduled twice, Jones’ delight at playing live again on her UK tour was evident throughout. Her hour and a half set showcased her 2020 album release ‘Song to a Refugee’, performing solo with acoustic guitar, she held her audience in rapt attention throughout, demonstrating her skills on both her regular acoustic and her much loved Gibson Tenor Guitar.
Highlights of her set from her recent album included ‘El Chapparal’, ‘Humble’, ‘Santiago’, and the title track ‘Song to a Refugee’, and Jones songs from her back catalogue included two of her best-loved songs, ‘Pony’, telling the story of a Native American boy taken from his home and family, and ‘Henry Russell’s Last Words’, inspired by the last letter written to his wife by the aforementioned Russell, when he knew his hours were numbered, in the aftermath of a mining disaster in Virginia in the 1920s.
Jones is herself actively involved in organisations supporting refugees, including Homes and Hearts for Refugees in New York, and the Helen Bamber Foundation, based in London. Another cause close to Jones’ heart is that of gun control in the USA, she praised UK audiences for being more finely attuned to nuances of satire and irony, as a prelude to her song ‘If I Had a Gun’, which opens with the line “If I had a gun you’d be dead, one to the heart, one to the head”, and described an unexpected benefit of Covid and lockdown as “no mass shootings in the US!“. This sense of humour shone through her set, she described her song ‘Cracked and Broken‘ as “a love song where no one dies”.
Closing her set with ‘A Little Hard Time’, a hymn for our times, Jones left her audience reflecting on her finely crafted songs on the human condition, good and bad, before joining them for conversation after the show had closed. A very fine show from a very fine songwriter.