WORDS MATTY BEZ / IMAGES DESH KAPUR
Nestled in the heart of Llandudno, Venue Cymru transformed into a haven for music enthusiasts, hosting the captivating collaboration of Far From Saints. For a local like myself, residing in the nearby town of Rhos on Sea, this was more than a concert; it was a musical homecoming. The Welsh roots of Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones added an extra layer of sentiment, making the evening in Llandudno particularly special.
Kicking off the evening was the youthful, Maya Lane, widely anticipated to carve a significant niche in the music scene over the next few years. Her vocal prowess, songwriting finesse, and an overall magnetic stage presence all converge to declare one thing loudly: she’s a STAR in the making. Remarkably, at the tender age of 19, she already commands a team with management, a publishing deal, and a record deal. Yet, what truly set her performance apart was the seamless blend of poise, grace, and a humble confidence that radiated throughout the room.
As Maya delivered her first notes, a hush fell over the audience, everyone utterly captivated by her voice. In a concise set, she left the crowd yearning for more, effortlessly including a mesmerizing cover of Fleetwood Mac‘s “The Chain.” The room remained in rapt attention, the silence only broken by thunderous applause, a testament to the authenticity of this folk-country-inspired artist. Maya Lane’s vocals, frankly put, were nothing short of stunning.
As ‘Oh When the Saints’ played through the venue, a clever choice that resonates in football stadiums, it primed the audience for the exceptional night that awaited. Opening with ‘Screaming Hallelujah,’ the harmonious blend of Kelly Jones and Patty Lynn from the band “The Wind and The Wave” showcased musical alchemy that transcended genres.
Guided by a throbbing bass drum and adorned with robust guitar riffs, the songs created an atmosphere that transported the audience. ‘Faded Black Tattoo’ stood out, its slide guitar infusing a touch of Southern charm into the soulful rock performance.
Acknowledging the limited discography of Far From Saints, Kelly Jones shared a delightful promise, leading into a series of brilliantly reimagined covers. ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,’ originally by Stevie Nicks, felt as if it had been tailor-made for this collaboration. Patty’s vocals, reminiscent of a blend between Stevie Nicks and Dolly Parton, harmonized seamlessly with Kelly’s renowned purified gravel tones.
The revelation that their album, crafted over nine days, had been kept in waiting for three years added anticipation to each note. In ‘We Won’t Get Out Alive,’ it almost felt like a vocal duel, with the audience caught in the crossfire of their passionate delivery.
As the night unfolded with a carefully curated setlist, including gems like ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’ by Cher and ‘American Girl,’ by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers the encore left the audience craving more. The performance wasn’t just a gig; it was a musical exploration that left an indelible mark on the historic walls of Venue Cymru. Far From Saints didn’t just perform; they cast a captivating spell, creating an extraordinary night of Welsh country tinged Americana that will echo in the hearts of those lucky enough to be there.
1/ SCREAMING HALLELUJAH
2/ FADED BLACK TATTOO
3/ THAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT
4/ LETS TURN THIS BACK AROUND
5/ THE WEATHER LEFT TO GO
6/ NO FOOL LIKE AN OLD FOOL
7/ I WANT YOU TO WANT ME (Cheap Trick Cover)
8/ OWN IT
9/ WE WON’T GET OT ALIVE
10/ STOP DRAGGING MY HEART ROUND (Stevie Nicks Cover)
11/ GONNA FIND WHAT’S KILLING ME
12/ MIDNIGHT RIDER (The Allman Brothers Cover)
13/ LET THE LINE SHINE OVER
14/ THE RIDE ENCORE
15/ BANG BANG MY BABY SHOT ME DOWN (Cher Cover)
16 AMERICAN GIRL (Tom Petty Cover)
FOLLOW MAYA LANE
FOLLOW FAR FROM SAINTS
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.