Jan 22 2012

Jones

Published by at 1:00 pm under Blog,General,Loopz,Orbital



Not many people realise that behind Orbital, is an array of people who do their bit to keep turning the giant M25 wheel. Years ago, that wheel was tiny AND stiff. Not many had heard of these 2 bald techno boffin heads (as one publication referred to them!). In fact most people didn’t really GET Orbital.

Jones was THE man to promote and publicise Orbital from Satan onwards. Not Satan LIVE…but the original release of Satan in 1990. I was nowhere on the scene then, as I was just a fan who was frantically trying to get as much Orbital music purchased. I was writing a paper zine called Loopz and was trying to fill it with Orbital material. By pure accident, I managed to make contact with Orbital during a power cut at Oscillate. I actually climbed on the stage in a drunken state, which still makes me shake my head to this day! That’s a story in itself! It wasn’t until I got passed a phone number for someone called Jones that thing’s really did happen.

Jones probably thought I was some kind of freak wanting to spread Orbital’s music in any way I could and especially via a paper zine. I reckon Orbital did too! Hell, who wouldn’t! But, after a few phone calls and chats, the table’s turned. He started to ring me, to tell me Orbital news and happenings. He would give me heads up on interviews or features in magazines. He actually got behind this very strange concept of what I wanted to do. I always remember he sent me an audio tape of In Sides weeks before its release. Never told me he was going to do that neither…

The paper zine moved quickly into a website and it was then I got invited around to meet the man who was promoting Orbital, like there was no tomorrow. I was on a work course in London, so caught the tube up to Muswell Hill. I remember being mesmerised by the mass of posters, press releases, flyers, cd’s, tapes, designs etc. all around his flat. He was obviously doing even more than I thought. We chatted for hours about Orbital and other artists he was looking after at the time. I remember he working with Planet Mu, Leila, Cabaret Voltaire / Richard H Kirk, Pentatonik to name a few. I remember he was very much into Factory Records as well. My head was spinning by the time I left.

Years passed and Loopz grew to be a popular website. I posted a lot of updates in those days and that’s because I was constantly being fed by Jones. I also remember listening to the Orbital Peel Session CD years after its release and idly looking at the cd inlay. “Sleeve by Jones”? Eh! I rang him to confirm it was him! Of course it was, but it was also no big deal hence why he never mentioned it before. He was also behind many other covers like Funky Alternatives 6, Cabaret Voltaire “I Want You”, Pentatonik “Petrushka”, Ultramarine “Every Man and Woman is a Star”, YMO “Hi Tech / No Crime” and YMO “Reconstructions”.



Orbital – Peel Session Cover


In 2001, he phoned me to say he was quitting it all. He said that the major record labels were becoming increasingly difficult to work with. So he wasn’t just quitting promoting Orbital but he was totally finished with all of it. I was totally gobsmacked, wondered what happens next and he basically seemed over the moon!

Unitary PR closed and off he moved back to Wales and randomly he kept in touch over the years. He said he always kept an eye out on how the Loopz thing was doing.
I’m a great believer in not forgetting how you achieve what you have achieved. Sometimes we forget to acknowledge those who have been a definitive piece of the jigsaw puzzle. This is a nod from me to Jones!

RIP.

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Jones”

  1. Christopher Elmgrenon 22 Jan 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Awesome text from an awesome fan that knew an awesome guy that worked closely with Orbital which in turn is an awesome band – they’re definitely in the floating top ten (no specific order that is).

    PS. Don’t do the Chime if you can’t do the Crime;)

  2. Casparon 23 Jan 2012 at 12:01 am

    And a good nod it is! 😉

  3. Babson 23 Jan 2012 at 12:08 am

    Jones sounded like a very creative guy that had his finger on the pulse. To be able to notice (freak or not your words) someone with a passion for Orbital and wanting to get the word out via the paper zine and give you that chance to access his world and what he was trying to achieve – well no wonder you wanted to honour him the way you just have. It’s all the little bits of a wheel that makes the parts come together and move.
    Glad after he left the PR industry that he still kept an eye on Loopz see what was doing, he obviously thought it was worth watching. No you didn’t forget and maybe he also knew integrity. Its not always the people with the lights shining on them and at them in the “celebrity” sense that have the memorable achievements. It can be very much those behind the lights in the shadow that have much more to show us and bring to the world.
    Really interesting thought provoking read thanks

  4. kevinon 23 Jan 2012 at 1:39 am

    Great post dude!

    Orbital been rocking my socks for some time now and learning more from different angles is sweet!

    Cheers!

  5. legspinon 23 Jan 2012 at 9:17 am

    Nice one Steve.
    Even within the cocoon I find myself in the name Jones had filtered through. People of this calibre do not come along often and are rarely cherished until after the fact. Shame.

  6. dave macon 23 Jan 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Nice one Steve. Anyone who played a part in introducing me to Orbital is OK by me. Lovely obit.

  7. Pushon 25 Jan 2012 at 11:50 am

    A nice tribute to a lovely man. I worked for Melody Maker and Muzik back in the day, and I used to speak to and see Jones on a regular-ish basis. He was always very generous with his time and made sure that journalists and photographers had everything they needed. I always thought of him as being like the third member of Orbital. He was a terrific ambassador for not only Orbital, but for electronic music in general in the 1990s. RIP Jones.

  8. martin jameson 25 Jan 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Jones was a brilliant ambassador for electronic music… and in a world where PR so often meant bullshit, he did his job with honesty and integrity. You just need to to look at the list of great artists he worked with. I’ll miss him a lot, even though we only talked occasionally in recent years, I always looked forward to those conversations.
    The world will be a poorer place without him….

  9. dave simpsonon 10 Feb 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I just heard the news today. Didn’t see it coming and am very sad, stunned really. Jones was a rarity, a principled person in an unprincipled world, an idealist, an anarchist/Situationist prankster, a natural deadpan comic, a New Order purist, and a great friend. To the end, he was still sending me handwritten cds of music he felt I should hear. I’m sorry I didn’t hear in time for the funeral but am glad so many turned out and he will have been chuffed that the Orbital lads made the trek. Jones was a massive part of the story and as Push says, almost seemed part of the band. Everyone who knew him well will miss him enormously and never forget him, and I don’t think any of us can ask for much more than that

  10. DJon 11 Feb 2012 at 9:12 am

    Jones was the bloke who helped me get an interview with Orbital at the Strongrooms a few months before Snivilisation was released. Put up with me pestering him on the phone and organised the whole thing.

    Despite the fact I never actually met him, I owe him a lot, and I was shocked to read this obit.

    RIP.

  11. Joe grahamon 18 Feb 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I was a mate of jones from primary school onwards. He never bragged about the things he achieved and he stuck by me through alot. He was without doubt the funniest person I’ve ever met. He got me into Joy Division (I was a Led Zep fan at the time). He was completely his own person and never did anything he didn’t want. It still hasn’t sunk in that he’s gone, and I’ll miss him forever.
    RIP great mate.

  12. julie denton 09 May 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I hadn’t heard the news and I’m really sad about it. I hadn’t heard from him in recent years. I live in the states now, but we worked and partied together in London back in the day. Does anyone know what happened and could share it with me?
    It’s making me remember going to Paul Haig gigs with him, and his artwork for Orbital and others. We worked together at a small company…some interesting times is probably a fair assessment.

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