Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Meet the People Behind the Bands: MIKEY JONNS (This Feeling) ~ New Year Special Pt. I

I've met some truly great friends through music, especially since I started this blog back in April; people who share my passion for new and live music, and all of whom are fascinating in their own right and a real joy to know. I've had the pleasure of getting to know a number of up and coming bands and artists from all across the country, and hopefully helped in some way to celebrate and showcase their talents. However, it's not just the bands themselves that I feel privilidged to have been given the chance to spend time and work with... but also the people behind the bands, whom without, the wonderful gigs we all spend so much of our spare time attending would not even be possible; the incredible people behind the scenes who work so hard, often without the recognition they deserve, and have the most impressive knowledge of music imaginable and a real dedication to what they do.

2016 has been a huge year for This Feeling; having celebrated their tenth birthday back in October, Mikey Jonns and his incredible team are truly flying the flag for new music at the moment and providing up and coming bands with the chance to play shows across the length of the country... opportunities that, in this day and age with the music industry how it is and independant music venues struggling, may not have been available to them otherwise. This Summer, by hosting stages at almost all of our major UK festivals, This Feeling have introduced up and coming bands to whole new audiences, and in doing so are helping to finally make it possible for guitar music to make a much needed return to the forefront of the music industry. Through their shows, I have been able to discover some absolutely brilliant new bands this year... Paves, Cabbage and White Room to name but a few, and since I started this blog, Mikey has been one of my most unwavering support systems; despite the fact that we have yet to meet in person, he has always provided me with immense praise and encouragement, and has truly made me feel very much a part of the This Feeling family. This is why I feel it only right to end the year on an interview with the man himself... who is such an asset to the industry, as well as a friend and inspiration to so many.

How did 'This Feeling' first come to be, and what inspired you to set it all up?
Ten years ago, decided to start a night for likeminded mates (Kasabian came and DJ'd the very first TF) and it's kind of grown from there.

You can always rely on a 'This Feeling' show to have an incredible line up, and I've discovered so many amazing bands through your shows this year... is there a process that you go through in terms of finding new bands to play for you, and choosing who plays with who?  
After ten years, it's now instinctive. You know what bands will get on, what bands compliment each other and the night. I know within 30 seconds of listening and looking at a band whether I like them.

Has music always been a part of your life, even from an early age?  
Yep, The Beatles, Stones, The Who and Springsteen were the soundtrack for car long journeys up to Liverpool to see my Grandparents as a kid.

You've conquered the majority of UK festivals this year and given so many up and coming acts the opportunity to play them- which perhaps they might not have had before. You've put on successful shows far and wide across the country, and 2016 saw This Feeling celebrate it's tenth birthday. In that decade, what would you say has been your proudest achievement?
Seeing bands, punters and everyone involved having the time of their lives at the festival stages we did with Jack Rocks.

What advice would you give to up and coming bands hoping to break into the music industry?
Get your shit together before you start gigging. Make sure the tunes are good and well recorded, make sure your band photos are good, and be prepared to graft. It does my brain in when bands who are good only get stuck in half hearted. All the big bands, be it Kasabian, Catfish, Blossoms or the soon to be massive Cabbage are sharp as nails, fucking great and work their socks off...

What are you listening to at the moment?  
Richard Ashcroft's new album and DMA's album have been blasted out today. Probably my two favourite albums of the year.

Finally... do you have any exciting plans afoot for 2017 that you can tell us about?  
The zone is gonna get bigger and better but you'll have to wait till next year to find out what's in store...

The incredible Paves who I saw for the first time at this years Leeds' Festival

This Feeling have just announced nineteen incredible bands whom they've picked to be 'Big in 2017'; three very special events will take place to celebrate (featuring the likes of The Shimmer Band, April and more) in London (14th January), Manchester (21st January) and Glasgow (11th February). Tickets for all shows can be found HERE.

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