Thursday 16th September
Booking fee: £1.50
General admission – standing with some limited seating.
Age requirements: 18+
Jack Hues, the singer-songwriter and composer best known as the frontman for Wang Chung, has today announced the release of his second solo album ‘Electro-Acoustic Works 20:20’ written and recorded during the national lockdowns along with a series of shows for September 2021.
In standard times Jack would have spent most of 2020 performing in the USA and Europe promoting his first solo album, PRIMITIF but as the pandemic shut the world down Jack set his living room up as a studio and began writing and recording ideas.
Jack Hues “I started to write about what was there in front of me, rather than what was in my head. And what was there in front of me? Deserted streets, quiet gardens, birdsong, no traffic, no aeroplanes, Covid-19, Black Lives Matter, Brexit, Trump, queues of ambulances outside hospitals, stupefying numbers of dead and dying. In response to the BLM protests here and in the US, I began to write a song, and quite early on in the process I sent it to Baby N’Sola (who has previously worked with Paloma Faith). I needed her input, and she sang brilliantly on it. The song she sang on became “We Gotta Work Together”, consciously evoking the spirit of Civil Rights in America in the 1970’s and questioning the divisive presentation in the media of this latest stage in the struggle”.
The lyrics of the songs on this album cover diverse ideas, but Jack wanted the Music to be a set of variations on one idea; “Side 1 presents that idea in “We Gotta Work Together” and then explores some byways before getting back to the main musical argument. Side 2 became “The Hymn To The Moon Goddess” which is a set of alternating variations on Baby’s ad-libs and the Middle eight guitar riff from “We Gotta Work Together”. As things opened up in the late summer Jack had Josh Magill play drums, Daniel Cano played trumpet, Pete Grogan played tenor sax and Jack’s daughter Violet sang.
Then the second lockdown happened and Jack hardly noticed, he worked intensely through October-November and during that time the album took shape. Jack’s dear friend Ron Chadwick spent his lockdown working on a triptych of drawings inspired by his own journey with cancer and with 20:20. One of the set features as the album’s front cover and parallels the music and lyrics, although it wasn’t planned that way.
Of this extraordinary year Jack says “2020 was a difficult and deadly year for many people, but it was also a time of slowing down, regrouping, re-assessing and looking to a future brighter than the past. The spirit of this album is all about that optimism”.
“It sounds great, defies genres, explores the emotional depths, and makes the most of the many facets of his musical identity” – Prog Magazine
“echoes of old-school Canterbury Prog and good old-fashioned art rock” 7/10 – Long Live Vinyl
“He veers from chunky, off-kilter pop rock like “Whitstable Beach”, to the jerky prog-informed “Astrology” and wistful, lived in ballads such as “A Long Time” without standard slipping, and finally, a brooding , eight-minute, fuzz-rock makeover of Lana Del Ray’s “Video Games” that might smack of excess eccentricity if it weren’t so surprisingly riveting” 8/10 – Uncut
Plus support from The Moon Is.