HOWARD JONES PERFORMS AN INTIMATE & GLOBAL LIVE STREAM PERFORMANCE VIRTUALLY FOR 1,000 FANS, LIVE FROM SIYAN SOUNDSTAGE IN HIGH WYCOMBE.
On August 2nd, 2020, world-renowned synth legend, Howard Jones, entertained 1,000 fans in an exclusive online virtual concert as he perfected his greatest hits, giving us hope for a healthier planet amid the Covid-19 global pandemic live from an imperative location close to Howard’s heart, Siyan Soundstage from High Wycombe. Howard and Siyan started their musical journey together, Siyan providing small rigs for small gigs like the Naags Head and eventually lighting Howard at Madison Square Garden and Albert Hall. “I wanted to somehow provide a quality live experience for the fans in 2020,” stated Howard, who had numerous shows postponed in UK, Europe, and Amerca due to the pandemic. “We were greatly inspired by the sound and visuals of the Laura Marling streamed concert from Union Chapel London and the innovative company Dice who made this streaming incredibly easy for the fans,” Jones stated.
Inspired by this, Howard approached Siyan, who provided the lighting and production for his recent Transform Tour to work with him on this special solo streamed concert. ” I want the show to sound and look good and to establish a new way to bring music to my fans when touring is not possible,” Jones stated. Fans were limited to 1,000 ticket holders who tuned in from around the world from as far away as Australia, Asia, North, and South America-(both East and West Coasts), as well, UK & Europe. We were captivated by a dimly lit stage, 1 spotlight, and a classic piano, projecting a very soothing sound, not your typical high energy synth sound. However, this performance was 1 of my favorite intimate moments with the world’s greatest 80’s synth master Howard Jones. This award-winning pianist blended beautifully with his iconic and positive influential vocal messages, who could want more?
Kicking the night off with his 2nd single from his inaugural Human’s Lib album, that became his highest-charted hit, What Is Love? Each song he interacted with his virtual fans quoting his favorite line from each song off the setlist, starting with “Laughing down the fear, a butterfly will appear” as he perfected his hit At The Speed of Love, from his current 2019 Transform album.
Striking forward with a song from his 1984’s inaugural album, Human’s Lib, as he quoted, “Little things count as much as the big and turn it all around,” from his Don’t Always Look at the Rain.
Jumping into a piece from his current 2019 Transform album, he quoted, “Will I get through all this pain, I need the sound of hope to believe again,” which led into his hit Hero In Your Eyes.
“Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain” led into the classic and iconic Hojo hit, No One Is To Blame from his 2nd studio album, 1985’s Dream Into Action. This became his biggest hit in the U.S which also was his first of 2 #1 songs.
Channeling once again from his 2019 album Transform, he quoted, “I could get new wheels, get some new veneers, smooth those wrinkles out…the hero rises from the muddy pit” which stemmed from the song of the same name,
Teleporting us back in time, a back to the future feel if you will, taking us back to a safe and fun era is what Howard Jones does best. A midst the fear of the unknown regarding COVID-19, he inspirationally uplifted our negative mental and physical fears with his historically infectious prowess, reciting, “I’m a prisoner of no confidence, you’ve entered me now make me whole,” from his hit The Prisoner, from his 1989’s 4th studio album, Cross That Line.
If you haven’t experience Howard Jones hypnotic genius live especially his delectable solo acoustic piano, it’s a must-see. Stripped down on a Yamaha baby grand he delivered a sensual experience any die-hard Hojo fan would love to engage in for a mind-blowing, a hypnotic transformation.
Striking forward into a tranquil moment as he breathed his fav quote from his song JOY, from his 2015 album ENGAGE. “Let’s see this as a golden opportunity, I’ll be the change that I would like to see……while all my futures are collapsing in on me, to hold a torch for someone else to see the road, to take the weight to lighten up the load…. we’ll be there to see it through, forever moving forward.” The August 2nd setlist was extremely relevant to the current pandemic times. You can always count on Howard to deliver that all mighty powerful and positive encouragement.
Next, I got to hear for the 1st time, an acoustic piano rendition of Everlasting Love from his 1989’s 4th studio album, Cross That Line, as Jones led us with, ” Back in the world of disposable emotion, In the climate of temporary dreams,” leaving an everlasting impression on me, I could literally feel my stress melt.
“In the strangest of ways, on your darkest of days, all that you’re giving out, will always come back to you,” did that just move you? It most certainly affected me as my eyes welled up with tears, allowing my emotions and admiration for Howard to release in a powerfully irresistible way. This quote came from his Love Never Wasted, from his 2009’s 9th studio album Ordinary Heroes.
Next, he broke sweat jazzing up a version of his astronomical piece You Know I Love You… Don’t You? from his 1986’s 3rd studio album, One to One.
Jones wore his heart on his sleeve as he shared openly with us about the passing of 1 of his life long friends, musical collaborators, and the award-winning synth-pop music producer, Rupert Hine, who passed away on June 5th, 2020. The next song was in tribute to his dear peer, as Howard explained the significance of this treasured friend and piece. You could’ve heard a pin drop, not a dry eye, as he broke into this uniquely passionate rendition of David Bowie’s hit, Lazarus. This was a powerfully moving moment, allowing time to stand still as music became a dialogue.
My favorite and invigorating HOJO hit always brings me back to when I was turning 14. This song still grabs me, shakes me loose, as I sing along loud and proud….”not under the thumb of the cynical few, or laden down by the doomed crew,” yep, NEW SONG, Jones 1984 debut release from his inaugural album, Human’s Lib, with lyrics still relevant now as it was 36 years ago. My body engulfed in a heatwave filled with goosebumps, the reaction when a song takes over your soul, priceless. A side I have never witnessed of Jones to date and would love to indulge on again, as it resuscitated my deep admiration for his songwriting, an artist that I can still relate and connect too right to this very day.
An pushing the musical envelope, Jones shared a piece I have never heard in my life. We Make The Weather is from Jones’ Angels and Lovers 1997 album that was ONLY released in Japan. It was then re-released in 1998 as Hojo’s 7th studio album which went world-wide but the album title changed, known as People album, this is definitely a hidden gem, a much-needed addition to my collection, the search begins, I am determined.
The last 2 songs were HOJO popular staples that once heard, you automatically know it’s Howard’s, but once again, these acoustic piano pieces are a must-see or must hear to appreciate this man’s in-depth talent. Things Can Only Get Better from HJ’s 1985 2nd studio album, Dream Into Action, is as much an 80’s anthem as it is a hope anthem or a thought to keep repeating daily throughout this horrible pandemic. Howard stated, “It’s gonna happen, right?” as he further spoke his favorite line as such, “And do you feel scared, I do, But, I won’t stop and falter,” this happens to be my ultimate favorite HOJO masterpiece, especially in this stripped-down jazzy and arousing flare, a deliciously addictive format. Jones further encouraged us by saying, “stay safe, please keep wearing these masks!”
The last song is generally the 1st song of his concerts, allowing for an intimate up close and very personal experience, whether 1st or last in the set it always stands the test of time as a link between Jones and his legions of all aged fans, not mention is a special message to keep the faith. A confidant wholehearted message of hope! This 1-hour concert covered his greatest hits that span well over 36 years, soon to be 4 decades, and featured 15 originals and 1 Bowie cover. Preparing to depart, Jones thanked everyone for joining and supporting artists and live music. His last chosen quote, “hope you find it in everything, everything that you see, hope you find it in everything, everything that you see, hope you find it, hope you find it, hope you find me in you,” which comes from his 3rd release Hide and Seek from his 1st album Human’s Lib.
Thanks once again Howard for including me as an elite amongst this limited 1,000 worldwide ticketed fan event. Cheers to good health for you and
Keep up to speed with Howard Jones by visiting http://www.howardjones.com as well, a sneak peek for those that missed out on this spectacular online concert, enjoy his hit, JOY –