By Keith Sharp
Even those of you who are not familiar with the progressive British rock band, Jesus Jones, will identify with their mega 1990 hit “Right “Here, Right Now” which was written as an acknowledgement of the ending of the Cold War in Europe and the breaking up of the Berlin Wall.
Some thirty-three years later and lyrical message of that song seems just as appropriate as ever with the ongoing effects of climate change and the war in Ukraine. “It’s funny how history continues to repeat itself and that we never seem to learn from our mistakes,” noted band lead singer Mike Edwards from his London base, who will be leading fellow band members Iain Baker (keyboards), bassist Al Doughty and duel guitarists Jerry DeBerg and Simon Mathews to perform two concerts in the Toronto area next week.
On Saturday, May 14th Jesus Jones will be on a bill featuring The Spoons, Imagines In Vogue and Strange Advance on day two of Ed Sousa’s fifth annual McBowl Concert Bowl Series staged at the Classic Bowl venue in Mississauga. Word is that this event has sold out but it is still possible to catch them the following night Sunday, May 15th when they headline at the legendary El Mocambo.
Launched in 1988 in Bradford On Avon in England, Jesus Jones created an instant impact when their second album `Doubt’ was picked up by New York-based SBK Records as part of a mega roster launch in 1991.
SBK Records which was owned by Stephen Swid, Martin Budier and Charles Koppelman, swung a multi-million-deal with Universal to launch a label which included the likes of Wilson Phillips, Vanilla Ice, Blur, Boy George, John Secada and Jesus Jones and enjoyed a major presence on the US Music scene.
“I am sure it was because of SBK’s push but we won the MTV New Artists award in 1991,” Edwards noted. The same song was also nominated for a Grammy, that year and their debut U.S tour was a complete sellout. Although their follow-up third album `Perverse’ was successful Edwards conceived it as a darker, more contemporary album and then just prior to releasing their fourth album `Already’, SBK declared bankruptcy leaving the band in limbo.”
“It was a shame about that, we were just a couple of days away from launching it when the label folded,” Edwards lamented, “They were great to work with but to be honest we had no idea how the business end of things worked over there. I look at Bon Jovi as someone who knew what was going on but we didn’t”
Jesus Jones went on to record two more studio albums; ‘Passages’ in 2018 and ‘London’ in 2021 and although their career began to wind down, the band remained together and “Right Here Right Now” continues to enjoy a life of its own, being used in a number of commercial campaigns including K-Mart and the Ford Motor Company.
So, as Jesus Jones bounces back to life after the pandemic layoff, his band is still eager to play European dates and jump on a plane for the odd trip to Canada and the U.S. “Yes, this is one of the great perks of this job,” Edwards laughs. “But we’ve never gone away, our bass player Al lives in Chicago so we have to sub him occasionally but the thing we take pride in is that we are a tight live band, yes we have one major single but there are other hits like “Info Freako”, “The Devil You Know” and “International Bright Young Thing.”