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Stereoboard Talk To Then Jerico’s Mark Shaw About The ’Reprise’ UK Tour & Future Plans (Interview)

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 Written by Katie Territt

Just over a year ago, Then Jerico were still a part of 80’s memories. A band that made and released great music, had a fantastic following and were an iconic band in an iconic decade. Fast forward to 2013 and Then Jerico have already got back together, completed a reunion tour and established themselves again as a perfect accompaniment to this current craze of reminiscing. Stereoboard caught up with lead singer Mark Shaw for another chat about the band’s plans.

It’s been a busy year for Then Jerico with their reunion tour and lots of exciting things bringing the band back together. “It's been frantic and hectic, but it's been fantastic. It's been really exciting. The last 12 months have pretty much changed my life, in that I honestly never believed that Then Jerico would get together again and it would go as well as it did. I didn't think it would be the rollercoaster that it has been. The response has been phenomenal from fans“.

Talking of the reunion tour, it was a pretty special time for the band being back together again. “It was incredibly exciting. The first night in Newcastle was just phenomenal. We did something we never do, we had a big band hug; we never done that before, we were too cool *laughs*. Of course everything went wrong, the intro music didn't work and our big plans went a bit pear shaped. All our keyboards are on backing tracks on computer and they started playing the wrong song. The crowd went nuts for us though; we were just grinning at each other not believing that we were actually doing it. It was just a beautiful, beautiful moment. I loved it, we all loved it. We were all smiling, which again is something we didn't really do, we were too busy posing *laughs*. It was an incredible response, we really enjoyed it. After two or three nights, we started to realise that the magic was still there and everyone was enjoying it. We were playing the songs better than we ever had; we weren't taking it for granted anymore. I think we worked harder because we were grateful - we realised what we had lost and we were very grateful to have it back.”

The tour was full of highlights for both Mark and the rest of the band. “Playing Glasgow was amazing for me. It's where my Mum was from and my Mum died a couple of years ago, so it was very emotional for me. The reception we got was phenomenal. The real highlight for us was that every night, we would put the house lights on and take a photo of the crowd and then post it on Facebook. We'd ask everyone in the crowd to share the photo on Facebook and they always done it. It was a real highlight every night and something we looked forward to”.

The band are now preparing to go back out on the road again with a brand new tour in support of their upcoming ‘Reprise’ album. “What we're doing now is playing some of the tracks on the 'Reprise' album. Last time we played everything from 'Big Area' as well as the singles and our favourite tracks. This time we'll be playing tracks form both, but we're not adhering to the running order and we're not playing tracks just because they're on the album. We're just playing songs that we really want to play and that fans want to hear. Plus tracks that haven't been played for over 25 years - 4 or 5 that haven't been played at all. Without giving too much away, we'll be playing songs from both albums and some surprise extras. We'll play a good hour and a half of as many tracks as we can, plus some encores. It's about value for money; we want to give fans as much as we can give them.

We're playing some bigger venues, in particular The Grand in Clapham and the The Liquid Room in Edinburgh - so some between 100-1000 capacity bigger (than the last tour). We just wanted to play places that we think are great venues. There are some really good gigs on this tour; we're just grateful that these venues want us to play there”.

The album that the tour is promoting has been a long time coming and has taken a lot of hard work from Mark and the band. “We've been working on a new compilation, 'Reprise', which should be released now middle of May for download. That's taken a long time as well. Basically when Warner Bros. bought London Records, as is often the case, things get lost. So we've spent so long digitising everything and only then did it come to light that some of our tracks have disappeared, so I've been having to source things from different parts of the world - rare mixes, B-sides and things that just never appeared on CD. But we've finally got there and the album is ready to release”.

Alongside the ‘Reprise’ album and tour, Then Jerico are also busy promoting a recent CD/DVD release. “We've released 'Acoustic Live', a double CD/DVD pack, through our own label and only available from our webstore. It's a show we done at the end of our last tour; we've never played acoustically before with the whole band. It was pretty unrehearsed but we wanted to do something a bit different, take a laid back approach, enjoy ourselves and really explore the songs. It was a 5-camera shoot so it took me about 2 months to get it edited and get the sound mixed, etc. The show was specifically filmed and recorded because it was such a unique moment and something that we'd never done before”.

A compilation of old tracks and exclusives isn’t the only thing in the pipeline for Then Jerico….we could possibly be seeing some brand new music from the band in the future. “Well because of our proximity, or lack of proximity as we don't live anywhere near each other, it's a lot harder. We used to write as a band, but now because we're not together, we're all writing separately and emailing each other, sending each other tracks and ideas and adding bits to them. It could be quite a bizarre album! The idea is, when we get together, if we get the time in rehearsal we'll try and explore our ideas. In reality what we really need to do is take some time after the tour and try to see if everything works out. It's quite an unusual way of working - we're not influencing each other directly, we're building on each others ideas. It's very refreshing because you have to follow everyone else's ideas. No question though, something will go out!”

To finish up, Mark was keen to give a huge shout out to some of the people that have worked so hard to make Then Jerico’s reunion possible. “I'd like to mention Mike Marlin who is our support act. He's quite alt-rock, bit of Bowie and Leftfield in there. We wanted to take someone on tour with us who would really complement Then Jerico's music and someone we felt our fans would love.

We also have to thank our promoter, Senbla and in particular Ollie Rosenblatt. Everybody has been so good to us putting this tour together, it doesn't happen by magic. We're genuinely grateful that they've given us this opportunity and we're so glad to have such a great crew back with us again from the last tour. They all work so hard and we're so grateful.”

It’s clear that Then Jerico have eased back into their hardworking ways, and it’s great to hear how much they’re enjoying their reunion and the opportunity to showcase their talent – it’s evident in their shows and in their passion for what they do. With a great team around them, the ‘Reprise’ tour and album look to be another huge success and here’s hoping that getting back together produces some more fantastic Then Jerico music to form a new chapter of their history.

Then Jerico will head out on the road for their 13-date 'Reprise' tour, with all original band members, next week.

Then Jerico UK Tour Dates are as follows

Tue May 7th 2013 - Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Wed May 8th 2013 - Liquid Room, Edinburgh
Fri May 10th 2013 - O2 ABC Glasgow, Glasgow
Sat May 11th 2013 - O2 Academy Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Mon May 13th 2013 - Academy 3, Manchester
Tue May 14th 2013 - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Thu May 16th 2013 - Waterfront, Norwich
Fri May 17th 2013 - Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
Sat May 18th 2013 - The Welly, Hull
Mon May 20th 2013 - Globe, Cardiff
Tue May 21st 2013 - Concorde 2, Brighton
Wed May 22nd 2013 - Brook, Southampton
Fri May 24th 2013 - Clapham Grand, London

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