Soundtrack of our lives: Stephen Jones / Babybird

If you think it all began and ended with You’re Gorgeous, a song which catapulted Stephen Jones into the mainstream 22 years ago (number 3 in the UK charts) , then you’d be mistaken. He’d already recorded a handful of records by that point, and since then, with the help of bandcamp he’s released nigh on a hundred more. Even a heart attack 6 months or so ago hasn’t stopped him, and he’s recently recorded two albums in LA and the video “Unloveable” (see it on youtube) with the help of a certain Johnny Depp.

Ahead of some highly anticipated gigs, following on from his performances at a very lovely old church in St Panras in December, we spoke to Stephen and he picked out some of his favourite and most influential tunes.

The track that influenced you to start making music?
Isolation by Joy Division. Peter Hook’s baselines are in my head every time I write songs. I even got to dance with Bernard on a dance floor. He didn’t speak just blew a whistle.

Tour bus favourite?
The prodigy remix of  Method Man’s song Release Yo’Delf . Later after gigs, dark but for Go-faster-stripes riding in the van round Bristol. 

Saturday night tune?
Jim’ll fix comes to mind. But probably “beep beep” by Timbaland.  
And a Sunday morning record?
Could only be Sunday Morning by the Velvet Underground. Or ‘Everyday’s like Sunday’ by Morrissey.
The first record I ever bought?
Something by the Bay City Rollers or The rubettes. First memory of vinyl was a red 7inch of Carnival of the animals by Saint-Saens
The Cover I would love to play?
I hate covers as that’s how most people learnt the guitar – I appreciate stuff like Joy Division but never inclined to copy it. So at a push Daft Punk’s Get Lucky which I recorded on my Bandcamp site
The best cover of all time?
Quiet by Bjork’s alright
The best cover version of my music?
The wurzels, pinky and perky have covered our songs, even mark and lard but we could refuse the Smurfs doing one because they wanted to change the words, the midget blue bastards.
The best song I have written?
Love life on the KONpilation album on site. 
The song that I remember most from my childhood?
Sunrise by Rolf Harris because my parents took me on a boat to New Zealand when I was four and played that song on a big old reel to reel. Later you’re gorgeous was written on reel to reel too.
My favourite track made by friends?
I love a lot of Epic 45 stuff. And I did a song in falsetto called Good Disease with Aim which I love. 
My guilty pleasure?
Melanie Martinez that my little boy plays all the time. I even like the lyrics. 
The record in my parents record collection that attracted attention?
Probably Maori folktales on 7 inch vinyl about the deep ocean and whale goods and old men of the forest, the kiwi. All very haunting. 
The record I shall have at my funeral?
Russ Abbots “I love a party with an atmosphere” or if want people to cry, Arvo Part’s Alina
The words of this song inspire me?
Spiritualised “Anything more”. Presently on repeat its Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile :Over everything”


The best record ever?
The middle east “Blood”
The record that makes me sad?
I actually like sad music because it makes me happy if its brilliant. Bruce Springsteen Shenandoah (pete seeker sessions) and all of Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave
The record that gets me on the dancefloor? 
Love sick by Gangstarr but to dance anywhere these days I’d need to be drugged and dragged on to the floor
The best record I have ever written/ have ever recorded?
Bad old man because it happen overnight and all fell perfectly into place. You’ll be amazed that those lyrics got into the top40 which the song did. 

Babybird have announced a short run of gigs in May, details below.

11th May BRISTOL The Fleece
12th May LONDON Omeara
17th May MANCHESTER Deaf Institute
18th May GLASGOW Hug and Pint
19th May SHEFFIELD – Plug

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