DEPARTMENT XS KINGS OF THE WORLD 2024 … A new digital release remixed and remastered for 2024.
No, XS doesn’t stand for extra small… though there are plenty of people I would describe thus.
Seeing as most of the Department S back story seems to have been mysteriously airbrushed from history (http://Dept-s.com), I wanted to remind people of just how good Department S were circa 2015/16. KINGS OF THE WORLD was originally written for the 2016 release of the critically acclaimed album WHEN ALL IS SAID AND ALL IS DONE, mixed and produced by Pete Jones.
Kings of the World has been reworked, mixed and mastered for a fresher feel for 2024. Pete Jones re-recorded new guitar parts and added layered synth sounds to compliment the original track. Personnel on this recording are;
Ed Roxy: Vocals
Alex Lutes: Drums
Pete Jones: Bass/Guitars/Programming/mixing
As the current line up of Department S (without any of the original members) continue to tread the worn out road with live gigs and releases, it would be courteous to acknowledge those that have gone before in a suitable and respectful manner. The reformation period between 2007 and 2019 for the band cannot be understated, the personnel involved during this time made some great contributions to live shows and festivals across the UK and Europe as well as releasing new material. Without this contribution, the band wouldn’t exist today.
Don’t forget! My book, They Call Me Joyless is still available in PDF format FREE of charge from this website. You will find the 2015/16 period in Department S history covered fully. see here
(Note, This is not an official Department S release from the current line up)
Good luck……… Have a great Christmas and I hope you get everything you deserve in 2024, just don’t be a cunt.
It’s been a while. This Is Not a Love Song hit the the top of the singles charts around the world – #5 in the UK – back in 1983. Since then, all my solo releases have tended to fall down the “never to be seen again” plug hole.
I don’t mind or really care for charts and lists etc.. nor do I give a shit if my releases earn me any income. I just do it for the art maaaan. I gave up a long time ago worrying about such things. It took me the best part of 20 years before I managed to secure royalties from Love Song and even then, its not exactly enough to retire on.
So I was somewhat surprised to find last week that my re-release of Spanish Snow(that appeared originally on my Contrivances For the Soulalbum in 2019) featured in the 365Radio legacy chart voting pool. Whereby, listeners could vote for their favourite track. (feel free to buy the audio tracks if you want to support my art further).
Contrivances For The Soul Cover
After contacting all my friends and associates asking them to vote, It appears the song charted at number 19, beating the likes of Debbie Harry and Nick Cave, Black Grape, Fallout Boy and ABC, then the following week leaped up to #9. A top ten hit no less!!
Amazing what you can do!
So thanks go out to all that voted and I hope you all continue to vote to nudge my little tune further up the chart. It’s a song I’m very proud of and is truly a solo effort as I played all instruments and sang the tune with help from nobody at all thank you.
I should also thank Dawn Parry who is tireless in her support for artists old and new putting together a daily radio show for 365.. I don’t know how she does it.
Anyway, thanks again.. help is much appreciated and I hope you like the track. Here’s a video I put together for it.
“…..a spanish thing without sounding like a fucking Spanish Restaurant” S.L. 365radio
“… It was very clever, best thing I’ve heard today” S.L. 365radio
“…He’s clever, really really talented” Dawn Parry 365radio
Well, it’s summer I guess (almost) and certainly is hot enough so what better way to celebrate the warm sun than by releasing a song called Spanish Snow? It’s what I’m like.
Some more familiar with my work will recognise that this track first appeared on my 2019 critically acclaimed album CONTRIVANCES FOR THE SOUL that I released on blue, heavyweight, numbered vinyl. (I still have some dust-covered copies of Contrivances for the Soul available from my shop here). I’ll even sign them.
Spanish Snow was one of my favourite tracks off the album and I felt it deserved another airing so it’s available from Friday 16th June from all the usual streaming platforms.
It will also be available as a download from my Bandcamp page which is preferable as I get to keep more of the meagre pickings.
I‘ve often been asked about the bass playing on this track and some are interested in hearing it in more detail so I have posted a couple of stripped down remixes on my Soundcloud page. One as a karaoke version sans vocals
And another with just bass and drums that really gives a chance to hear me trip over my fingers whilst making it all up as I go along. It also illustrates why I play mostly with a plectrum: to give that sharp attack and edge to the sound that can’t be done with floppy fingers, trust me.
Spanish Snow with just bass and drums
Anyhow, that’s about it from me for the summer… I tend to shut the studio down while the weather is nice, get out and about, and enjoy the sunshine (if there is any)
SENSORIUM is a 4-track EP and will be available on all digital platforms from 14th April 2023. And if you are wondering what Sensorium means:
A sensorium is the apparatus of an organism’s perception considered as a whole, the “seat of sensation” where it experiences, perceives and interprets the environments within which it lives..
So, now you know… don’t fret about it.
I will also be making available a limited edition of hand printed, numbered and signed copies on CD. Unlike the above image, each CD will each be different and unique. Buy several and have a set!! You will be helping keep me busy and focussed on producing my art, it really does help.
Sensorium on CD will be priced at a profit-evaporating £5 in the UK and £7 elsewhere (no wonder I’m not rich). Purchased directly from my SHOP HERE. Or you can PayPal me direct at: email@example.com
Radio and press copies of Sensorium will be made available on request.
As the weary month of November dragged on, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with my old pal Martin Atkins during his UK speaking tour. I haven’t seen martin since he last came to the UK in November 2018 when we did an impromptu jam at the Islington.
On the 13th November I joined him in Manchester and on the 16th at The Dublin Castle. I took my bass along so we could play a few PiL tunes as part of his talk. As shit often happens when you least expect it, two days prior to this Keith Levene’s death was announced. Martin and I were both shocked, yet not entirely surprised at this. Keith had been ill for some time but he was taken far too young.
Keith Levene me and Martin Atkins
Keith was an innovative guitarist and very influential during the post-punk era. He would approach playing in a unique way, throwing convention on its head to come up with something unique and quite brilliant. Sometimes he missed the mark but when he was in the right frame of mind it was utterly captivating.
Rest in peace old friend.
Martin’s events were great fun. He is an excellent speaker at these things and even though I’ve heard the stories all before, he always manages to entertain. At the Dublin Castle I met up with a lot of old friends who I hadn’t seen since before lockdown, marvellous.
Pete and Martin rock out
Sadly, those two events mark my last ever live appearances. I have decided to hang up the bass for live work. I don’t have the appetite for it anymore and heaving huge bass cabinets up and down stairs for a pittance isn’t really doing it for me. I shall remain a studio rat; it’s where I’m happiest, writing and producing my own songs and mixing or remixing for anyone who wants me. Its all in my book which you can download for free here.
After the Department S album When All Is Said and All Is Done was released, Phil Thompson and I individually began writing new songs for the next album. I think we accumulated around 20 demos between us and we began whittling these down to a list of around 13 that we intended to record.
This process took fucking months, with very little impetus shown by the band in getting the songs rehearsed and recorded. So the songs just languished on our respective hard drives until I eventually left the band. More can be found on this in my book. INFO HERE
Jealousy Cover art
I can now spend time putting the songs out on my own and the latest of these is Jealousy. You can guess what it’s about. It’s a digital only release on my JAM UK label, as there is not enough demand for physical product if I’m not touring.
I think Phil has reworked some of his songs for Department S as he is still in the band so good luck!
Anyhoo, download or not, don’t be jealous, and live your life.
My critically acclaimed book – They Call Me Joyless…– that I released in 2019 in print form sold out completely. Thanks to all who bought a copy.
I can’t be bothered to pay for another print run and do all that queuing up at the post office again so I have decided to make the book available as a free PDF download instead.
I know you think that is far too generous of me but hey!.. that’s what I’m like. The book has been updated and some of the original typos been removed. There are extra photos and links as well as updated text from 2019 to now.
They (still) call me Joyless
The PDF file can be downloaded here from my dropbox”
You know I looked good, even if I didn’t sound good
It’s been a while since I’ve updated the website… I’m such a lazy git! But behind the scenes Joyless Jones has been busy in the studio writing, recording and mixing new stuff, so here’s an update;
I‘ve produced a great remix for the absolutely marvellous and talented Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons. It’s a banging remix of their track Abuser. Check it out at Youtube here:
As part of a little experiment, I have released a 47 second track that I wrote for a TV theme last year under the Joyless Jones moniker, the idea being that only the first 30 seconds counts on Spotify as a download. By keeping this song on repeat 24 hrs a day … well, you guess the rest. Its called Spit, Don’t Dance and you can see it here:
Another recent remix is one of my own tracks- Liar -originally appeared on my Contrivances for the Soul Album. The original was written with the piggy- fiddler David Cameron in mind but the sentiments are equally applicable to Spaffer and his Bullingdon mates. Hear it here:
Twisted was my first home-recorded CD release back in 1998 when all I had was a small dial-up PC and a Yamaha sound card. It was basic to say the least but I self released it to a fanfare of silence. I’ve now made it available as a digital release. The original CD included a cover version of PiL’sBlue Water, but I haven’t included it in the digital version due to licensing issues with my old guvnor Johnny. It also appeared on Tribute – Martin Atkins put this together in 2014? as an album of PiL cover versions (as if the originals weren’t bad enough!).
And lastly… for this update, I have released yet another digital single as Joyless JonesI’m Happy Being Joyless… says it all really.
Finally!… I have seen recent posts regarding the 41st anniversary of the release of Is Vic There? by Department S. It’s good to see my old mates putting it out there. This release is a re-recorded version of the old classic so not much new to see there; it’s a shame they didn’t do a completely updated version IMHO as its just pretty much the same as the original and doesn’t do much for me but good luck! Its a limited edition coloured vinyl release so that’s always a good thing.
Yet another Joyless Jones remix lives the studio. Black Dog by Ambition Demolition is an upbeat rendition of a song about depression…. Catch what the boys are up to and what gigs they have planned on their Facebook page: