It’s not a new song. I wrote and recorded it in 2007 but it never got a release so I thought I’d give it an airing now. Thanks for your support.
In other news; I have been managing building work at my house including the inclusion of new studio space so its all been a bit chaotic for the last few months.
It’s all finished now, back amongst the leafy glades of Harpenden which is uplifting at this time of year. I have completed connecting up bits of gear after unravelling all the cables so ready to crack on with new and existing projects.
Stay safe fuckers! Keep in touch via the mailing list
After 100 shows, my last Department S gig went with a bang at Minehead last weekend. It was a weekend of mixed emotions; I was quite sad that my tenure with the band was coming to an end but I was reminded of how many lovely people I’ve met along the way. I got a bit carried away flinging my guitar around at the end of the set but it seems to have survived. Those Fender basses can take a great deal of punishment. Thanks to all those that have supported me over the last 5 years, I’ve made loads of new friends and I hope to see you at a gig some time soon.
Minehead is a great festival and this year had some massive performances from the likes of The Undertones, The Skids, The Rezillos, The Vapors, The Members, Toyah, 999 and Big Country.
It was also a weekend that saw Phil Thompson doubling up on guitar duties by playing his first gig with the Rezillios. It was a bit strange standing in the crowd watching him play with another band, as if he was cheating on me! He played a blinder and the band sounded as good as ever. I’m looking forward to hearing the results of new recordings from them later in the year.
I‘m gonna spend some time on the sofa, and work some more on my solo material. The Contrivances For The Soul album is still due for June this year and in the meantime, the Psycho Drill single and Rogue Sector remix are doing well. I will be thinking about returning to the live stage later in the year with a brand new line-up. Watch this space, but dont hold your breath.
You’ll see a new track released soon. It’s an old recording form 2008 but it never was released properly so I’ve decided to put it out as a digital release now. Blood Red, Bible Black will be out in April.
My new digital only single Psycho Drill is out today, 15th Feb. It’s taken from my Contrivances For the Soul Album, due for release in June 2019 on limited edition numbered and coloured vinyl. There will be a release party at a table for one this evening.
Guitar duties on Psycho Drill are handled by my dear friend and Ruts DC guitarist Leigh Heggarty. You will currently find him on ’40 years of The Crack’ tour with Ruts DC ably supported by the wonderful Professionals
Its available form all the usual digital stockists or listen for 0.000001p on Spotify if you must.
I will soon be releasing a new track – Psycho Drill – taken from my forthcoming album Contrivances For The Soul on February 15th. This will be a digital-only release through my own J.A.M. UK record label. The album will be released through Plastichead and will be a limited edition vinyl release in a gatefold, numbered sleeve. It will also be available for digital download through the usual channels.
Psycho Drill Features the amazing guitar talents of Mr Leigh Heggarty who most people will know, plays for Ruts DC. He will also be joining Alvin Gibbs from The UK Subs for some live dates this year. My loveable friends Rogue Sector will be doing a remix of this track just as soon as they can make time in the studio… i’m looking forward ti hearing that!
The release date for my album has been pushed back to June due to a massive pressing backlog at Plastichead.
In other news, you may have seen the announcement that Department S guitarist Phil Thompson (now known as Phil Marx) has been offered the guitar slot for The Rezillos. I’m really pleased for Phil, he obviously impressed Fay and Eugene when we did some live dates with them last year. He is a perfect fit for the job and I’m sure he will do really well. The Rezillos are planning to record some new material this year and Phil will undoubtedly be at the heart of the songwriting process.
My book is still going through the laborious editing process. Since my decision to leave Department S in April this year, it has meant the last chapter or two of the book has to be rewritten to cover my reasons for leaving. Things are usually more complicated than they first appear and all will be become clear!
One thing is for sure, I’M NOT RETIRING!! I’ve got plenty to do going forwards and of course, I’m always on the lookout for interesting projects to get involved with.
After some discussions with the Department S management, I have decided to terminate by tenure with them a bit earlier than first expected. My original plan was to make the Department S Rebellion appearance in August my last show. The hometown gig at Harpenden on 5th April will now be my last gig.
The reasons for this are that the band have now found a replacement for me and as they are keen to get on and record a new single it would seem reasonable to hand over the bass playing duties sooner, rather than later.
So, I have only 4 more gigs to play with the band:
Come and join me if you can, be nice to see you before I go! It also mean I will have a bit of spare time through the summer to work on new activities, including studio work. If anyone has tracks that need mixing, give me a shout!
It is with a moist eye that I announce I shall be leaving Department S in 2019.After more than four years and 100 or so gigs, I feel the time is right to move on and consider other projects going forward. The decision is mine alone and one I’ve been wrestling with for some time – I really do love those boys and will greatly miss their humour and professionalism – but artistically, I felt I had done all I could and I need now to face a different challenge.
I’ve had a great time working for this seminal band and I am very proud of the shows we played at and the recordings we made. The marvellous people I’ve met along the way, many of who have become true friends, made the not so glamorous gigs bearable and the bigger shows some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to play. We’ve had some right laughs, not least of all with my roommate Phil Thompson who has become a great friend and one of the few people I can stand sharing a hotel room with!
I aim to leave the band by the time of Rebellion Festival in August so in the meantime, if you want to come along to any Department S shows to say goodbye and weep uncontrollably on my shoulders, please do. Department S will continue with a new, as yet, undecided bass face and I wish him/her all the best with the band.
I am not retiring from making music; my new album and book will be out next year and I am hoping to have some exciting news to announce regarding a new musical project. Watch this space. I am also hoping to tie up with Martin Atkins on his book tour next year following our successful appearance at the Islington last month. I will of course, still be available to work in my producer role with other band’s music in my newly refurbished studio.
Is Vic There?… I don’t know, but I never found him despite four and a half years of looking.
Keep in touch,and please, do sign up to my mailing list to keep abreast of my endeavours.
The new album has been a couple of years in the making from start to finish and been a bit of a slog but my new album ‘Contrivances for the Soul‘ is now finished. Set for release March 2019 it will be available as a limited edition, heavyweight and coloured vinyl in a lovely gatefold sleeve. Limited to 200 copies, they will be individually numbered and will surely become a rare collector’s item.
It’s a solo album in the truest sense of the word. I sing and play all the instruments apart from a guest guitar slot on one track by Leigh Heggarty from Ruts DC.
Check out this sampler of tracks from the album
I will post updates on the progress of cover design and pressing etc as well as the availability for ordering so keep in touch. Sign up to the Joyless Jones mailing list to receive email updates.
Next year is shaping up to be very busy with one thing or another and there will be a major announcement very soon!!
When I heard Martin Atkins was coming over to the UK from his Chicago home I was more than pleased. He was coming to present his ‘5 years in and out of PiL’ talk as part of his workshopping ideas for the forthcoming book he is planning. I made my way by train to Manchester to stay the night before he gave his talk at the wonderful Principal building in the town centre. Martin brought his son Ian over with him as his assistant and the three of us met in the hotel bar for a chat.
It’s always good fun meeting up with Martin, we spend most of our time trawling through the memory banks dredging up tales of early Brian Brain and PiL shows. He was suffering from chronic jet lag and was about to retire to bed when I told him it was only half-past eight and suggested it was far too early to go to bed. It was only a succession of double whisky and coke that kept us going till much later. I wish we had recorded the conversation because it was very funny.
His talk was at a ridiculously early 10 am the next day but luckily the venue was only a short walk from the hotel. It was an anecdote-filled hour-long talk with much humour and honesty and it gave Martin the opportunity to put a different side to events from that early eighties period of PiL history. Jeanette Lee was there which was rather nice to see, our paths never crossed when I was with PiL as she had elected to stay in England after John Lydon filmed the Cop Killer movie. She suggested we should all wear ‘I survived PiL’ badges. My eldest son came along too so it was a nice meet up for all of us.
The next day Martin was due to talk at the Islington in London. This time there was even more fun to be had. A drumkit had been arranged and I took my bass rig along to set up on the small Islington stage. The audience was all seated and this time Martin talked for over two and a half hours with some great musical interludes from the pair of us.
It was great to be playing on stage with Martin again after such a long time (35 years) the old magic was still there as we whistled through excerpts of Careering, Religion, Attack, Theme, Public Image and Poptones. We even managed a bit of Solitaire from the Commercial Zone album that we had written together back in 82 (that I was never credited for). I slipped in a bit of a Brian Brain bassline too, in the background while Martin was talking about the infamous 2nd USA tour where he ended up getting a good kicking by GG Allin.
When Martin finally publishes his book he is planning a return to the UK so I’m hoping we can meet up again and with a bit of planning, jam along to some more PiL stuff. The crowd seemed to enjoy it anyway. A fantastic weekend all round and if you get a chance to hear Martin’s talk on 5 years of PiL bullshit, please go, you won’t regret it. (especially if I’m there playing).
In other news… My solo album is finally finished and off to the mastering engineer Pete Maher for mastering. It’s to be called…
“Contrivances For the Soul”
It’s the final bit of the process that a lot of people don’t realise is so important. Not only will Pete prepare all the audio files for the manufacture of CD’s and vinyl, but he will also give the sound an extra polish with various studio trickery to make the songs sound like they fit together and are at equal loudness and tonality. Pete masters songs for just about everyone these days including U2 and you can hear songs he has worked on all over the radio, day in day out. Top top geezer. Release date is set for March 15th 2019 on Westworld.
If anyone would like access to the files for review purposes, let me know.
The book is trundling on, I have severe writers cramp, so much to say, so little time; I have had 4 advance edit copies printed to send to my trustworthy editors to rip apart and reconstruct. I’m hoping they will be kind to me. It will ruin me if one typo slips through the net, I hate that. So I’m hoping that any errors are caught soon and it all makes sense. It’s around 85,000 words so there’s a lot of checking to be done. I’m hoping to have the edit and re-write completed by end of the year, that’s this year, 2018.
My new solo album Contrivances For The Soul is almost complete, just one last guitar solo to go on and I’m happy to say that Leigh Heggarty from Ruts DC is coming over to my studio next week to record it for me. He will be the only other musician on the album, apart from one female spoken sample, everything else is me. Then it will go off for mastering by the bloody marvellous Pete Maher who masters tracks for U2 amongst others, you here his work every day on that there wireless thing.
The release date for the album is set for release via Westworld on March 15th 2019. A gatefold heavy duty, numbered, coloured vinyl it will soon come around, and I may try to tie in the book and album launch at the same time if I can get organised, makes sense.
The current run of Department S dates with the Rezillos has sadly come to an end. What a blast it was, such fun. Sad to see that Jim Brady has left guitar duties, he is such an immense presence on stage and off I don’t quite know how they will manage to replace him, but I have a good suggestion. Both bands got on really well, so look out for some more Rezillos/Department S news for
That’s all for now, keep warm, stay safe and keep in touch
Department S played the W festival in Belgium last weekend, and what a hoot it was. It probably ranks as one of the most pleasurable gigs I’ve ever played; the hospitality was first class and the technical crew (who were all volunteers) were absolutely ‘on it’ in every respect.
We travelled over on the Eurotunnel train on the Friday so we’d be fresh and ready for the gig on Saturday afternoon so I booked a hotel for Eddie, Phil and myself in the lovely old town of Mons, about 45 minutes drive from the venue. I gave the nearby city of Lille a wide birth as it’s usually just full of Brit tourists which is never fun.
We arrived in good time, just early enough to saunter into the town for a beer or two. We hit on a bar on the town square and settled in to enjoy the ambience, talk shit and watch the world go by. The choice of beer was a bit confusing, they all seemed to be really strong, we couldn’t find one that was any less than around 8% but we thought that as we we’re essentially drinking halves, it didn’t matter.
We had a lovely chat, then moved on to another bar for some food, all the while, having more beer. I’m not sure how many we had, but by around 11 we were feeling tired and sloshed so decided to go back to the hotel which was when I found out that my legs weren’t working properly.
Walking back to the hotel with Ed navigating there is always a chance you could get lost, despite him using his phone to navigate, and this was no exception. We wandered around for ages in what seemed like an ever increasing circle with legs that weren’t working. Phil and I were in hysterics, absolutely pissing ourselves. At one point I was laughing so much, I couldn’t stand upright and had to hang on to Phil’s arm for support. Shortly after that, I thought it would be a good idea to rugby tackle Phil through a hedge into a garden. We ended up in a heap and I think we narrowly missed falling in some dog shit.
Despite being a bit sloshed, I took over the navigating with the help of Google maps and had us back at the hotel within 5 minutes. By this time we were hungry so decided to order pizza and more beer at the hotel, not a wise move.
I woke up in the morning with all the room lights on and my shoes off, so I had at least achieved something before I fell asleep! I threw up the remnants of last night’s pizza and went back to bed. Breakfast was hard work, I forced down a bit of egg, well, we had paid for it so I had to have something, then spent all morning nursing a hangover from hell. Thankfully Phil was driving.
We arrived at the venue for the festival nice and early. There was a dressing room reserved for us (Paul Young had three of them) and it was next to Katrina’s as in Katrina and the waves. The hospitality was laid on, some really top notch food, a nice outdoor lounge area and a free bar. Of course, as a professional, I didn’t drink before the show, but it was comforting to know it was there, not that I really fancied any more Belgian beer to be honest.
The show was great, we pulled in a good crowd into the tent and we gave it a blast, all too short for my liking. Afterwards, we chatted to some fans and retired back to the VIP area. I was too pooped to stay for the rest of the night so we hung around for a bit and decided to have a drink at our hotel in Kortrijk which by all accounts was very nice. Our drummer had been there for a couple of days and reported back it had a nice bar, swimming pool etc.
The only problem was, when we went to check in, they had no knowledge of our booking (through the promoter) a few frantic phone calls later and it turns out, we were at the wrong hotel. For some reason we were booked into a hostel elsewhere.. a fucking hostel? as it happens it was ok and we all had our own room. It was late, I was tired, I didn’t care.
An easy trip back the next morning and that was that. A lot of effort to play one show but it was worth it. If you get a chance to do the W Fest next year, give it a go.
See you at the Byline festival this Saturday fuckers!