JACK HUES & THE MOON IS
Jack Hues has had a career that most musicians can only dream of. He studied at the Royal College of Music, he recorded sessions for John Peel, he topped the US charts, scored major Hollywood motion pictures.
Jack grew up in Gillingham in the Medway Towns about 40 miles south-east of London. He was interested in music from an early age. “My dad was a saxophone player and my grandfather was a musician too, but it was hearing “Please Please Me” by The Beatles on the radio when I was about 8 years old that made me wake up and think…ahhh, so this is MY music”.
Jack asked for a guitar that Christmas and while his parents agreed they insisted he have proper lessons. Twice weekly Jack was taught classical and folk guitar and, unusually, how to read music, a skill that would serve him well many years later.
“By the time I was 18, I had passed Grade 8 guitar and got a place at Goldsmiths College, London to study for a music degree. At this stage I knew very little about classical music – it was David Bowie and early 70’s Prog that was my focus. The lines between genres were about as loose as they have ever been. Classical music didn’t seem remote, although I was turned down by 4 out of the 5 universities that I applied to, as Rock music was considered worthless by academics at that time.”
Jack played in a variety of bands until he met bassist Nick Feldman through a musicians wanted ad in the Melody Maker. They formed a couple of bands before finally distilling their talents into Huang Chung. The band later renamed themselves Wang Chung at the suggestion of the head of their record label, David Geffen. “The name still comes up now. It was even on Saturday Night Live in the US. I guess David was right”.
Jack wrote the future hit-to-be “Dance Hall Days” while still teaching guitar at various schools around London. The song proved pivotal in the band’s development and established Wang Chung as an international success. They were signed direct to Geffen Records in the US so Jack’s career was based in LA throughout the 80’s.
1987 saw Wang Chung on a coast to coast US tour with Tina Turner and gigs all over the world, but by 1989, the times they were were a’changing and the attention of the music business turned to Grunge and/or Hiphop. The band didn’t embrace either of those and eventually split in 1990. “Through the 90’s I did various projects. I scored “The Guardian” for Bill Friedkin, I was the only composer to ever work for him twice! I recorded a solo album for Columbia in the US, but for various reasons the project foundered. I produced an album for Arkana and an EP for Arturo working with Mick Glossop, I co-produced a couple of albums with Chris Hughes for The Definition of Sound and Gene and I formed Strictly Inc. with Tony Banks (of Genesis) to record his eponymous solo album”.
“I released a trilogy of collaborative albums between 2013-18. My “jazz” work tended to be instrumental, focusing on my guitar playing, but meeting and working with poets revived my interest in words and music. “ROTE-thru” is probably the most extreme experiment consisting of a long semi-improvised poem spoken by David Herd and Simon Smith set to music which I composed as 12 separate sections to be played in any order. “A Thesis on the Ballad” to poems by Kelvin Corcoran is more conventional, setting his words to song-based structures, but including space for improvisation”
Last, but not least, Jack recorded an arrangement of Beck’s “Nobody’s Fault but my Own” with his Quartet and members of Canterbury Prog band Syd Arthur plus Paul Booth on tenor sax, a recording that was released in 2019 to critical acclaim. Also in 2019, in a parallel universe, he recorded and released an album of orchestral versions of Wang Chung songs entitled “Orchesography “ to enthusiastic reviews.
His new album, ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC WORKS 20:20 will be released on the 20th August on The Dawn Chorus Recording Company.
THIS EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE IN OUR INTIMATE SPACE – KOMEDIA STUDIO BAR
AGES 14+ (UNDER 16s MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT)