Jack and Trampolene are supporting Liam again tonight, (11/11/2019
The interview with Jack was back in November of 2017 just before they supported Liam Gallagher on part of his stadium tour. Since then the hard work has paid off with success after success. Trampolene headlined at the Scala in Kings Cross for example. A sell out crowd got to witness Jack's (typical) encore of reciting: 'Pound-land' whilst being held aloft by the crowd! (which I spoke to Jack about a few days after the gig, see below) Jack continues to play guitar with Peter Doherty's band, whilst Trampolene are still delighting & exciting crowds up and down the country. See below for all the gig and ticket links!
You might have gathered that Trampolene have just smashed a UK tour which coincided with the release of their debut album 'From Swansea To Hornsey' You might have also gathered that Phacemag is a fan! If you have seen them play or have met them you will understand why. It was such a pleasure hearing Jack's story today. During our chat, Wayne called Jack, he was supposed to meet him and I felt really bad. Sorry Wayne - luv you Trampolene - pauliepaul -
This Pic Link - Trampolene Facebook Page -
Firstly Jack the tour! Did you expect such a response?
I no way anticipated how mental it was going to be, I didn’t expect every show to be so packed, and I never expected everyone to be so “Mad for it” to use a phrase of a great son of Manchester. There was sweat dripping from the ceiling, footprints on the ceiling...
I was following closely on Twitter as you know Jack, some of the comments are incredible, for the album as well. Oh and by the way, I think you were robbed on the top ten albums - was it The Guardian? I’m sure you’re going to make the Phacemag number one album.
Ah no way! I can die happily now!
Yes I’ve got an award for you...
You know it’s been mad for us, we’ve been playing in front of the same hard core dedicated fans all over the country for a few years now and all of a sudden this, Wayne and I looked across at each other and it was ”Fuck we’re part of something big now!
Where did it begin for you Jack? Where did that first guitar come from?
Well I was expelled from school for dancing on my art teacher’s car, shouting “I want to be a woman!” …na
- Well that will do it!
Yes - and at the time my parents weren’t together, I didn’t see my Dad that much after my Mum and Dad had split up, but around Xmas time there was a triangle shape present under the tree, a present from my Dad who wasn’t there and the note attached said “I hear you’re having a difficult time at School….” -
Were you friends with him after they split up then?
Well we weren’t estranged. It’s always difficult for Fathers and Sons when your parents aren’t together. They’re together now actually! My Dad asked me to be his Best Man, so I had that thing in my life where I always knew he loved me - so the note said: “I hear your having a hard time at school, maybe it’s time you thought of an alternative career” (laughing..) And that’s the guitar I play to this day. You’re joking? How old were you then?
Around 14, Fender Argos I call it...
Argos! No way had he got it from Argos?
Was it around this time you met Wayne?
The Wayne story is a funny one. Wayne was a very serious footballer. He was playing for premiership clubs, but in a different league in Wales...and I played for Swansea schoolboys.
So you were both playing football?
Yes, we were both playing pretty good football. I was playing for Swansea under 14’s and Wayne was playing for Llanelli which were like a big Welsh team. Well what happened for me was, when you get to a certain age - around 14, there is a big cut in the Swansea team and those picked get carried forward to play in the older bracket. Well, I didn’t get picked. What they did was like X factor - we had one game and then all the boys sat down on the floor. I had been in the team for years so I was confident of getting picked. Then they shouted out names of boys to stand up and mine was one of them so I thought “wicked! I’m picked!” but then they said “sorry you’re of a great standard but you haven’t been selected.” All those boys were crying, fathers on the touchline crying... it was an emotional scene. But there was a scout there from Wayne’s team who came up to me afterwards and said, “I know how you must be feeling right now but why don’t you come and play for my team? We’re better then these anyway.” And I just thought well why not? What else am I going to do now? Then, on my first training session everyone was asked to pair up in two’s and I was paired with Wayne.
So if you had made the cut in Swansea you wouldn’t have met Wayne and Trampolene would never have happened! – I love that. It’s mad!
I know! Wayne was great, I was quite underdeveloped for my age and when I saw him I just thought he was a man. He had hairy legs and he was the same height then as he is now! My mum still remembers me coming home from the first training session and saying Mum I’ve met the boy with the hairiest legs in the world and I want him to be my friend.
Link -Trampolene @ Pledge Music + Video filmed by - Lee Thomas/Above Picture by Lee
I know, but even though Wayne was a footballer he was like a mad punk as well…
I love the print that came with the album special edition, he’s obviously very creative.
Yes, he’s a mad painter. If you go round his house it’s covered with his paintings!
You’re lucky because I’ve always thought… to meet ‘that’ someone like Lennon & McCartney or Peter Cook & Dudley Moore, to meet that person you can bounce off... do you know what I mean?
I do, what Wayne gave to me... Well he’s always the person that hears my songs first. I wasn’t always very confident; I was confident about lad things but there was a deep insecure side to me and he helped me with that. I was excited to write songs for him to listen to. I would stay at his house at the weekend for football and we’d get absolutely steaming before the match - he always played brilliantly! I was terrible. The first time it happened I scored 2 home goals!
Supporting The Libertines - Photo by Lee Thomas - click for his website -
But the band?
What happened, well - I had this guitar from my Father in my room, and I kept looking at it and I always felt a weird connection with it, and then Wayne... well, I didn’t know much about punk and that world… Wayne played me music by bands like The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club etc. and one day he said “I’m starting a band. I heard you got a guitar, can you play it? And I said “Yeah” even though I never played it once. He said “Great. Band practice next week!” I had a week to learn!
Did Wayne know you could sing?
No, in fact for years after Wayne and I started a band I didn’t want to be the singer.
But you’re a brilliant front man!
That’s happened more recently out of necessity, but for years in the beginning I was happy just playing guitar.
So after you formed the band?
Well then we moved to London, when we were 18. All our friends were going to Uni and stuff and we were so determined to make it work, to be in a rock & roll band and tell our story, we moved into a house and it was like a 24/7 Andy Warhol inspired type house, full of writers and poets - everyone would come round all the time.
Is that how you met Peter?
No. How I met Peter is the most random thing! I first met Carl, which was years before Peter. He’d noticed us as musicians and the like, just from being in Muswell Hill, which is where he lived then. Anyway, our van broke down and I was changing the tyre when someone tapped me on the shoulder to ask if I needed a hand and it was Carl Barat.
Wow! This is mad, you meet interesting talented people changing a tyre! (Laughter) Did you know who he was? course you did -
Yeah of course, and he was just, just really nice to us, he could see we had a lot of intention, mad ambition and wild dreams. He maybe saw a bit of himself?
I’m trying to put a time frame on this?
Oh it was early days, no sign of Baby Shambles, ... and then what happened was I wrote some poems, I wanted the band to be this story of... just a story of all types of music - and words. We had a mad little scene going on. It was madness, at one point there were around 30 people living there, it was like a Welsh refugee camp! We all played songs in the living room and everyone would come round. When I started doing the poems we’d been a punk band for a long time. That was it, people came to our shows and went mad. Then when I started doing the poems people would shout “Fucking shut up and play guitar!” Later on, the poems became so popular the opposite started to happen. “Stop playing and do some poems!” Now people just accept that this is the story we want to tell and as I said, it includes the spoken word as well as rock and roll.
Another Lee Thomas photo - click for Bataclan Tour Diary info/ filmed by Lee Thomas
Where does the poetry come from did you read poetry?
I never read at all until I was about 20, then all of a sudden I became totally obsessed with words and writing. When I first started playing guitar I would practice for hours, all night, not a soul would see me. I would come home at lunch and practice for hours. And the same thing happened with words. After I discovered reading I just read like a bastard. I read Ulysses twice! I wouldn’t have a clue what was going on around me and the more I read the more poems and ideas came to me. It was a mad moment and probably the defining moment for me; because that’s when I became a writer and a songwriter and that’s how I define myself now. Yet at one point, until I was 19 or 20 I would have been happy to play guitar forever. At some point I posted some poetry online, on YouTube. Only around 300 people read it, and one of them was Peter Doherty. That’s how I ended up being The Libertines Tour Poet!
How was that, meeting Peter? Were you a fan?
Well, obviously I knew who he was and when we met there was an instant connection. We were just like two peas in a pod. When I started playing guitar with him people thought I was his son! I love him so much.
We premiered Jack's Video for Swim Up
I have to tell you, I was watching a video of a live version of Down in Albion. You were on stage, Peter was on one, yet it was still brilliant and Carl was trying to hold it together. Peter would start singing and light up the song, then just wander off… I did feel for Carl. What I’m trying to say - (and I have a big soft spot for Peter, I don’t know why - I just have ) - is that you must love him dearly to play with him! (Sorry Peter x *laughter*) Can you remember ‘the’ phone call? Yes! Peter had heard me play on the tour bus and I got a call from the manager. I’d been up all night, we’d had a brilliant Trampolene gig and I’d not slept. It went “Peter wants you to be his new guitarist. You need to get on a plane to Buenos Aires by 7 o’clock.”
Yes! Then he said “And you need to learn 20 odd songs as well - by tomorrow.” And I did it, and I loved it, and the more I learnt Peter’s songs, the more appreciation I felt for him as well, because it’s so intricate what he does.
Thanks so much Jack, so nice to catch up with you. We’re all so pleased for Trampolene – paulie xx Thank you LeeThomas for the photographs -
My treasured Special! 'Down In Albion' that Jack gave me x
A Message From pauliepaul & Fran Suzie
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