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New Music Friday: Jono & The Uke Dealers

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‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ b/w ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is the new single from Northampton’s Jono & The Uke Dealers. The quartet – Dayrl Bond [bass/vocals], Louis Decoster Ryan [drums/percussion], Darren Rogers [ukulele/piano] and Jono Bell [ukulele/vocals] – have been getting rave reviews over the past few years, so New Boots were keen to get the lowdown on their past and this cracking new song.

How did you guys get together?
Originally formed by Jono & Darren, who had got together as a songwriting team and had written a pocket full of songs together. There was never any intention of getting a band together in the early days. It sort of happened organically, and like most bands we had a few line-up changes on the way, finally becoming what is now The Uke Dealers when Dayrl And Louis joined adding their songwriting talents. Both had collaborated with Darren and Jono in the past. The main motivation for the band is simply to write songs in any genre; we want to no rules. And that’s what we’ve been doing.

How would you describe your sound?
Describing our sound is a hard one so we will quote the Rev D Wayne Love of the Alabama 3 who collaborated on our debut EP on Grassroots Records. “You’re an amazing songwriting band who can’t afford guitars”.

Tell us everything about the single, both sides, ‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ and ‘Beautiful Young Things’.
The A-side ‘Joe Meek’s Ghost’ is based on the great producers’ myth more than the actual facts, which strangely enough are themselves mythical. We had a ball recording this track with our producer Gavin Monaghan at his Magic Garden Studio in Wolverhampton. Joe Meek’s innovations and inventions are still used today in recording studios. Gavin plays guitar and theremin on the track, which has been already played a few times by Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music we are happy to say.
The B-side ‘Beautiful Young Things’ is a celebration of Northamptonshire’s amazing music scene and a nod to its past. It’s a old musician talking to a young musician. About the amazing natural high that live gigs give you no matter how old you are. The shared buzz that makes us all equals.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We’ve been gigging not just here in our home town but all over the country. Our first gigs here were supporting bands such as Kings Gambit , P-Hex and The Repro Jammers. Members of the above bands we’ve known for years and are part of the extended musical family we belong to here in Northampton. Birmingham has become our second home town and we love our gigs there, often along with indie sensation Paper Buoys who share the same producer as us. A lot of our home gigs are at the usual music venues but our hearts will always remain with The Lab – an independent music venue both currently and historically. We see a lot of local musicians at our gigs and the feedback to our songs has been overwhelming. Recognition from your peers is as good as a paid gig. We often perform at The Umbrella Fair. We believe community is all we’ve really got in the end, and our gigs for them have been the most memorable. It’s lovely having two local venues that bring out the best in your music as soon as you walk through the door.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Jono getting stung by a wasp on the lip three songs before the end of a festival set and the instant morph into the singing creature from the black lagoon. Great gig by the way!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The long awaited P-Hex album, which is a funky masterpiece.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We will continue, track by track, to complete our album with Gavin. Work on new songs. Go with the flow. No rules.

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