Howard Jones played his 2011 two-album show at the Sandy Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City on 9th July 2011. The promoters were hoping for 1500 ticket sales but it turned out to be a complete sellout with 2,750 tickets sold and 300 turned away. He encored with the Killersí ĎHumaní as a tribute to Salt Lakeís Brandon Flowers who had apparently been in line for a Howard Jones in store signing back in the nineties.
It was in 1983 that Howard Jones first burst upon the contemporary music scene and brought his very English song-writing and pioneering synthesizers to an unsuspecting world. Anyone who was around in the mid to late eighties will remember those high energy gigs and his first two albums Humanís Lib and Dream into Action. They lived in the higher reaches of the album charts in the UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Canada, Australia and many other countries in the 1984-86 period and the hits kept comingÖ"New Song", "What is Love?", "Pearl in the Shell", "Hide and Seek" (which he performed at Live Aid in 1985), "Like to Get to Know You Well", "Look Mama", "Things Can only Get Better", "Everlasting Love" and the quintessential "No One is To Blame", which reached No.1 in the US.
Now Howard Jones has re-mastered those first two classic albums Humanís Lib and Dream into Action and played them both live in their entirety for the first time on November 6th 2010 at the IndigO2 in Londonís O2 Arena Complex. This two-album show is being repeated throughout 2011 and 2012 at selected venues. The re-mastered albums are available from www.howardjones.com. A special re-mastered box set of the 12Ē mixes was released in March 2011 and a DVD of the IndigO2 concert will be available soon.
A classically trained pianist, Jones applied his technique to the early synths particularly the Roland Juno 60, the Jupiter 8 and the Moog Prodigy. He also pioneered the classic Roland 808 drum machine and the Sequential Pro-One. In the early days he was triggering sequencers live on stage whilst playing and singing, something that no one had done before.
These days he still operates on the cutting edge of todayís technology and has been one of the leading exponents of the Roland Fantom G8 and the Roland V-piano. Many contemporary giants of the dance world have shown interest in working with Howard which has resulted in tracks such as "And do you Feel Scared?" with Eric Prydz and "Into the Dark" with Ferry Corsten.
Jones continues to tour extensively and will be playing multiple dates and festivals in 2011 and 2012 with Robbie Bronnimann on live sequencing/sampling and effects using Ableton Live and various controllers, and Jonathan Atkinson on electronic drums. He will be performing the live Humanís Lib and Dream into action show in selected US venues in October 2011. Go to www.howardjones.com/touring for details.
Always one to take chances, Jones continues to write great songs inspired by his Buddhist beliefs as is evident on his latest studio album Ordinary Heroes which features a string quartet on every track and one of the best Welsh male voice choirs in the world The Morriston on the song "Soon Youíll Go".
But 2011 will mark the return of one of the true eighties icons and godfathers of modern electronic dance music in full electric mode. If you were too young the first time around itíll be a chance to find out where all those beats and sounds came from, and if you were around itíll bring all those memories flooding back.