Howard Jones leaves fans content despite minor vocal setback

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I remember during high-school I’d have my study room at home absolutely plastered from ceiling to floor with pin-ups of all my favourite music artists. Right up there were the iconic likes of Madonna and Michael Jackson, and then, peppered beneath like vivid pop wallpaper, were in order of favouritism Bananarama, Duran Duran, The Thompson Twins, and Howard Jones.

Even then I considered Howard Jones the thinking man’s pin-up. Between delivering great pop songs (egs: What Is Love, Things Can Only Get Better, Look Mama), the artist would often spout his opinions in interview on subjects such as human rights and vegetarianism. Oddly enough, at his recent concert in Perth he didn’t do much political talking. But that might be because his voice wouldn’t lend itself to the extra banter.

Indeed about three songs in at his first Australian show at The Astor in Mt Lawley, Jones’ vocals appeared to give in and he had to stop half-way through a song to get it together. It had the audience worrying – but only for a few minutes for soon he was back on stage in finer form.

Where a lot of artists are trekking down memory lane and picking one perennial album of their career to perform live (think Roger Waters of Pink Floyd), Jones broke the mould by choosing his first two albums to play in their entirety. He did this utilising equipment the songs were initially recorded on, as well as operating new technology – adding a definitive ‘newness’ to the music.

For most of the show, fans were happy to hear revived versions of hits including New Song, Pearl In The Shell, No One Is To Blame, Life In One Day and the aforementioned pop classics.

All up, Howie was forgiven for losing it temporarily in the vocal department. The breadth alone of quality songs from his albums Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action made up for any minor tribulations on stage. Indeed, many would be just as content  if he’d enlisted the help of pre-recorded backing vocals; the trip down memory lane being enjoyable enough.


Howard Jones continues his Australian tour, playing The Tivoli in QLD Saturday 8 September, Castle Hill RSL in NSW on Thursday 13 September, The Factory in Sydney Friday 14 September, Bankstown Sports Club Saturday 15 September, and Fairfield RSL Sunday 16 September.