Jump - UK Rock Band

I love guitars. I love playing them, recording them, looking at them, strewing them in cases across the stage, talking about them, and occasionally polishing them. I've been playing the guitar for quite some time now, with occasional breaks for sleeping and driving in my car. Being in a band is very handy because there's another guitarist with whom I can trade licks (on the guitar, you understand) and discuss strings and serial numbers.


As a teenager I once had a try-out for Wycombe Wanderers. Growing up I always knew I'd become either a footballer or a drummer - the fact you're reading this should give you some idea of how well the try-out went...

At the age of fourteen, desperate to play but unable to afford a drum kit, I joined the local Boys' Brigade marching band and a lifelong love of performing (and also of Premier drums) was born.

From there, my journey to JUMP wasn't that remarkable given that the first 'proper' band I joined in 1983 included an accordion player called Mo and a certain Steve Hayes on guitar. The three of us have been together ever since.

I've shared a stage with many singers and bands over the years. It's taught me a lot about music, life and me, but thankfully there's still much to learn.
Can I imagine ever leaving the stage at the end of a show knowing I'll never do that again? No chance!

I started with the accordion and then embraced keyboards. Lately they've been making me play the accordion again. It's keys mostly, though.
I'm from Glasgow which makes me the northernmost member of JUMP and my left ear is pretty shot now on account of standing next to Steve for 30 years.

I've been in JUMP for 30 years. I come from Bangor, which is very important. Singing was a cultural imperative where I'm from and no-one gets a choice. This proved handy when all my mates turned out to better guitar players than me. I always wrote words.

First band White Summer (started in 1979) released a single. When you get that plastic in your hand, that's it - you're hooked.
Next band was a short-lived project called Rutterkin with Francis Lickerish of the Enid. It was an education... if a bit mad. Then it was Thief, another education... just as mad. Then it was 1990 and all the strands came together in a two song, vocal-less demo handed to me by Steve Hayes.

JUMP has been there for half my life. Every gig is a minor miracle, every session, every album as exciting as that first bit of plastic. Did I think we'd do over a thousand gigs when we started? I thought we could. Did I think I'd get to work with some of the people we've worked with? I thought we might. I use Leffe beers or whatever's going except keg.

I've always believed.

I've been playing guitar for as long as I can remember, and recorded my first album at 16 with a producer called John Dexter Jones, not sure what he's up to now….
I sang lead vocals and played guitar for a band called Cadre before jetting off to The Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford where I studied alongside some great musicians, and had some fantastic opportunities to develop my playing.
After graduating I became a full-time guitarist, playing in various function bands across the country. In 2003 I landed a temporary gig stepping in for Pete Davies in JUMP, a band and a guitarist I had much admired for a long time (and had once joined them on stage for a song at the Nags Head!). 17 years on I'm still here writing and playing with a fantastic band and group of people and loving every minute of it!
See you all out there!!

Check out John's interview for the WORDS AND MUSIC website - here.

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