Johnny Hates Jazz Play Eastleigh
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How are you feeling about your upcoming UK tour?
Clark: It feels great to be able to perform songs both old and new in a live environment. We have a fantastic band who are lovely people as well, so the whole experience, both on and off stage, is a real pleasure. I hope the audience will feel part of this, too.
It is three years since your last studio album – what can we expect from the shows?
Clark: We’ll be performing songs from the 1980s and the 2000s, so while there is musical diversity, there is also a great sense of continuity. As far as the band is concerned, we’re a 5-piece with a lot of energy! Apart from myself on vocals and Mike on bass, we have Alex Reeves on drums (Dizzee Rascal, Bat For Lashes), Berenice Scott on keyboards (Heaven 17) and British Blues Awards winner Marcus Bonfanti on guitar. It’s quite a combination.
What about the classics – which ones can we expect to hear?
Clark: You’ll have to come to the show to find out! What I will say is that we are performing nearly all of the ‘Turn Back The Clock’ album,
so all of our hits from the late 80s will be part of the set. Another popular song is our 2013 single, ‘Magnetized’. It was one of the most
played tracks on British radio during its release, and seems to have been embraced by JHJ fans as a firm favourite in its own right.
After all these years working together, what do you enjoy most?
Clark: Two things: the first is the creative process. Making records is still the most rewarding experience I know, and I think Mike feels the same way. We are a good balance for one and other, both in the studio and on the road. The second is breakfast. After a show, there is nothing like getting up the next morning and having a great vegetarian full English!
Which song do you most enjoy playing?
Clark: ‘I Don’t Want To Be A Hero’ is probably my favourite to perform. It is an anti-war song that I wrote with the Falklands War in mind. As the tragedy of war continues to ravage so many parts of the world, it seems equally as relevant today.
Can you guarantee the fan favourites?
Clark: I can assure you we will not be taking to to the stage and refusing to perform ‘Shattered Dreams’!
Have you got any tricks up your sleeves for the tour?
Clark: We will be performing two songs from ‘Turn Back The Clock’ that we have not performed since the late 1980s – one being an acoustic rendition of our very first single, ‘Me And My Foolish Heart’. There is also a song from the ‘Magnetized’ album called ‘Lighthouse’, which yields huge audience participation. It often raises the roof!
Lastly, what is the secret to a good show?
Clark: If told you that, I’m afraid I’d have to kill you.