“I always wondered if I could change an atmosphere with the click of a finger” says Jones in his West Wales accent. Dressed in a red polo neck he clicks as five band members, which include Villagers’ drummer Gwion Llewelyn and Younghusband’s Euan Ferguson on guitar, burst into a tremendous version of his single ‘How To Appreciate A Work Of Art’.
Suddenly, the entire room, which is only 200 cap, are completely locked in astonishment as to just how good this band really are - even though it’s a fully amped gig, people are silent during songs, mouths slightly ajar.
What's played tonight is taken from the forthcoming album, 2013, which document Jones’ life that year, when he was living in Rome, but the audience this evening haven’t heard it yet. They’ve just indulged on three singles - ‘Don Juan’, and ‘Refugees’ make up the other two - and they’ve been enough consolidated by this performance, for people to know that Meilyr Jones is one of this generation's true greats.
Jones started out playing in Welsh band Radio Luxembourg and made a strong impression on the scene singing in Welsh. He went on to form Race Horses, who were touted as one of the best new bands around at the time. Breaking away from the band though, Jones has traversed richer, broader musical tapestry, incorporating trumpet, violin on stage, along with the usual array of pop/rock staples. His charisma as a frontman has also flourished to the point where comparisons to one of his idols, David Bowie, are hard to ignore.
"This song is dedicated to a Jones. Usually either me, or that Jones there, he says whilst pointing to his keyboard player. But tonight it’s dedicated to another Jones," he says, with sorrow, as the crowd show him strong support as they celebrate a thin white Jones who has 2016 ready for the taking.