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Howard Jones Australian Tour

OiP: Has it been long since you were last in Australia?

HJ: It has been 20 years since I have been to Australia, it’s very exciting to come back! We decided to do an Australian tour after I had my 20 year anniversary show at Shepherd Bush. I had many guest performers and as people arrived at the show we talked to them. It was amazing how many people had flown in from Australia just for the weekend to see the show.

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OiP: I have always found that the lyrics in your songs like ‘free to choose a life that’s better for all of us’ are inspirational….

HJ: It was a conscious decision of mine. After music college I got very disillusioned with my music and career I went to work in a factory. It was a mundane job in a cling film factory. I realised that if I didn’t do anything I would soon end up staying there, so I decided to give my music career a go I worked very hard and did lots of gigs and demos and dragged myself out of the depression I was in.

I wanted to put a positive message out in the music. When I first started my career in the 80’s there was so much music out there that made you feel down and depressed. I wanted people feel encouraged to take life on and not give up and feel depressed.

OiP: How much has the music industry changed with the advance of technology?

HJ: The availability of the internet is brilliant. It has allowed artists such as myself to have a life after a major record label. I can still look after my fans all around the world. You couldn’t do that 10 years ago. Not only can I have greater access to fans but they have got access to me through my website and blogs Artists are now having more control of their own career and output – it’s a better thing. Many artists have a website with downloads and do regular blogs. This is the good side of the development of all of this technology

OiP: So what can the punters expect from your performance here in Perth?

HJ: We are bringing the acoustic show. It is very intimate and spontaneous. My friend Robin Bolt is on the acoustics and I am playing the piano. I talk about what the songs mean to me what they are about. I had been doing electronic shows with a big band, but this way I can react to what people shout and to what people actually want from me as a performance. There is no preset production. There is no fancy stuff to hide behind. It is just that night, and it’s just us, so we have to perform. It’s about being challenged. I don’t like to go to huge gig feel like I am just making up the numbers. I prefer to play concerts with 500 to 1200 people. You can hear, you can see and feel part of the event. Making a connection with the audience and them with you is important. What pushes me forward is doing these shows where what I provide is very real. It is an intimate show between us and the audience.

Howard Jones is playing on April 5 at The Regal, Subiaco. Tickets through BOCS.

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