We've been chatting to some great local musicians in a campaign to get more people supporting local original music. Here's 5 minutes with Quaintest Show On Earth.
Who are you? The band was formed in 2013 by singer songwriter T.W. Jones, featuring a variety of musicians and song writers and is often cited as a music collective. They played locally, perfecting their show, then started to expand by taking it to larger and further afield audiences, including in 2019, a residency in Nagano prefecture, Japan. QSOE has played mainstage alongside artists from all over the world at festivals like the Ukulele Festival of Scotland and the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival. The Wigan band has released three full studio albums of original music, 2 Eps and one live album, now available on most online stores. You can listen on Spotify , iTunes , Bandcamp. Their music has been featured on highly successful advertising campaigns reaching 100s of thousands. QSOE has had extensive radio play, contributed to film soundtracks and the band was recently asked to submit original music to the British Library. Quaintest have performed many live sessions that have been watched online all over the world such as ' The Narrow-boat Sessions' and 'Sofar Sounds' QSOE has helped to revitalise the local music scene with regular performances around Wigan and by helping to organise fantastic live music events. Also, putting a bimonthly event showcasing local talent and bringing in new performers from out of town to join in the music scene. Since the sad loss of his mother, Jones has organised a series of fundraiser events called ‘Quaintest Show and Friends’ with the help of fellow local artists and often takes place in the fantastic Old Courts Theatre. What 3 words best describe your sound? Northern Alternative Folk How does being from Wigan/the Northwest influence your music? I have attended and played at Wigan Folk clubs and learnt so much about the rich history of local and traditional music, this has massively aided my writing process. I was always drawn to learning and performing music on the banjolele, made famous by the legendary George Formby, which helped set me on the path that allowed me to play at amazing ukulele festivals across England, Wales and Scotland. Since 2013, I have been a Key organiser of the Wigan Live festival and performed every year. It has really helped to bring the community together for great causes. Many of the venues that we included early on, had never previously considered live music and have since become true venues with gigs throughout the year. Whilst in Japan, many locals showed a keen interest in the music and history from where I originated and I would share stories and anecdotes centred around the songs that I played using the knowledge I had picked up over the years.
My Father Rob Jones, who has been playing professionally as a bassist for many years across the Northwest has always encouraged and inspired me greatly as a performer and as of the past few years has become a pivotal member of Quaintest. The QSOE Facebook page features a web series called ‘ The Wigan Songbook’ in which I cover fantastic songs by local artists that I have stumbled across, and share some information about the artists to help promote them, whilst also showcasing the true talent within our little town. Just this year, Quaintest Show on Earth became the first featured local artist in the Wigan branch of HMV with the special re-release of ‘Day To Day Parade’. Being able to buy your own release from an actual shop, alongside the music of the greats, gave a great feeling of accomplishment. I’ve just recently been informed that a piece I had written is set to be included in the Old Courts People of Wigan book documenting the thoughts, feelings and experiences from the Covid 19 lockdown period. I’m really excited to read the other entries. What role do you think music plays in society? In many ways, for myself and many others, music is the glue that holds everything together and makes hardship worth the while. It brings people together and transcends language. Its pure entertainment factor is also very important to me personally as a good show can really turn someone's day, or even year, around completely. I’m often so overwhelmed by compliments that I can hardly process the value of, but it enables the viewpoint that, in many ways, performance is not only an artistic expression but a public service. Key examples of this can be seen through music therapy and playing music in care homes, to those unable to go out to a gig. ‘Music is a world within itself With a language we all understand With an equal opportunity For all to sing, dance and clap their hands ‘ - Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke - 1976 If you had a magic wand, how would you change the music industry? I would create more opportunities across the board and make it easier for talented, hard working performers and writers to profit directly from their art. There is currently a massive divide in the industry and appropriation of funds. I would also love to see more music brought directly to those who would struggle to access typical live music events. What’s next for Quaintest Show On Earth We’re all really looking forward to being able to play in front of live audiences again once it is safe. New music will continue to be written and recorded.
I will continue to try and stretch the reach of my charity and community events and hope to venture out even further to play music for as many people as possible.
Stay up to date with Quaintest Show On Earth by following them on social media: Facebook: @qsoearth
YouTube: Quaintest Show On Earth