Noble Jacks have been touring relentlessly, with sold out shows across the UK on their headline tours, as well as shows at major festivals including Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Bestival, plus major European festivals. With their second album, Stay Awake, released Spring 2019, the Jacks went straight into the top 10 Official Album Charts and played a sold out Concorde2 (Brighton) launch party. Followed by a full UK tour covering North, South, East and West, and festival season underway, Noble Jacks take the liveliest show around on the road.
2017 saw the release of Noble Jacks' debut album What the Hammer to much acclaim. A fiddle driven thrill ride, the band set out to capture the raw energy of their notoriously hectic live shows. Achieving radio play internationally, including support from BBC Introducing and Radio Caroline, the riotous album has become a firm fan favourite.
'A dashing alt-pop gem' (CLASH Magazine)
‘Their music is just the kind of sonic elixir we need in these troubled times’ (Acoustic Magazine)
‘An Explosion of insurmountable energy and brilliantly catchy riffs’(On The Beat)
'Just Brilliant' (BBC Introducing)
Ask most artists about their life’s focal point and they will tell you that music was their first love. They might well go on to say that it is the principle means via which they are able to express themselves, communicating thought or sentiment, emotion or observation. Above all, they will confess that they make music for themselves. Ask the same of Noble Jacks though, and you might get a surprising answer. That’s not to say that band members Will Page and Matty Deveson didn’t gleefully immerse themselves in their musical craft - quite the opposite in fact, both have been playing (fiddle/piano and guitar/bass respectively) since their earliest years, absorbing themselves into the Brighton music counter culture, and steadily honing their craft over many a year. Its just that the reason for the band’s existence is inherently more social than the usual ‘we make music for us, if no-one likes it we don’t care’ line. For Noble Jacks exist as much for their audience as for their own gratification; understanding why requires a brief dip into recent history. Having met at uni (Will overheard Matty’s strumming coming though the paper thin walls of their halls of residence and was instinctively drawn to investigate), the duo that were eventually to lead the charge into the arena of so-called BrAmericana (British-Americana, of which more later…) proved to be a natural fit in each other’s lives. Will was striving for independence via musical statement; Matty for a connection, after a period he describes as being ‘lost – to myself, and to anxiety.’ Whilst music had always played a fundamental part in their lives and up-bringing, it was only on meeting that they were to begin to appreciate the way in which music was to help define their identity; both to the outside world, and to themselves. “I was consciously on the look-out for someone to collaborate with,” explains Will. “We bonded at once, and I probably didn’t wait before the night was out to suggest that we play an open mic night together.” It wasn’t quite the start of Noble Jacks, but it was the beginnings of a lifelong bond; not just through a shared love of classic rock and folk punk, but through an appreciation of the expression of joy from their audience. “I’ll never forget that,” relays Matty. “Even bashing out a couple of barely practiced covers at that first gig, there was something about our playing together that brought an energy to the room. Some folk sang along, some danced, and some just smiled, but you could sense the uplift in mood.” It was a pertinent moment. Noble Jacks truly started in 2014, with Will determined to replicate what he’d observed in the audience when he first saw The Levellers headline their own Beautiful Days festival. “I
felt the reaction from the crowd, the unity and sense of community… and knew then that I could inspire the same sensation from my own music.” Initially, band line-up issues posed a few hurdles. Suffering from the collective whims of a series of less-than-dependable lead singers, Will took it upon himself to step to front of stage, to take back some control and perform lead vocal duties. Matty was content to ditch his beloved guitar in favour of the bass, desperate to do whatever it took in order to find a way to share the experience with his long time musical collaborator. Combining a passion for folk from both sides of the pond with a tendency for the raucously anthemic, Noble Jacks could truly said to have formed. There followed a period of consolidation, as the pair paid their dues to the gods of live performance, relentlessly touring the UK, yet always seeking that bond between band and audience. ‘We came to realise that for the people coming to see us, a Noble Jacks gig was a moment of release,’ Will relays. “Yes they knew the lyrics and sang along, but we observed that fans seemed to be coming with a conscious mindset of using the gig to let their hair down. I guess it’s a bit of escapism?” Released in 2017, debut album ‘What The Hammer’ sought to reinforce the live experience, capturing many of the favourite moments from the band’s live set, including the rousing ‘Blacksmith Stomp,’ which had already been adopted as an unofficial anthem amongst the countryside farrier community. The album encapsulated the band’s blending of the time- honoured with the contemporary, harking back to American storytelling tradition at one moment, British folk the next, before dissolving into a boisterous whirl of fiddle-infused wall-of-sound. The band’s stock began to rise, their placement on festival billings moving up accordingly; Will was to realise his Beautiful Days ambition, opening the festival on the main stage, and by all accounts, delivering an audience reaction like no other. It was only more recently that the band began to be hailed as the leading lights of the so-called ‘Br-Americana’ movement, a tag which elicits an amused response from the band themselves. “Well, we do head out to Nashville later this year,” muses Matty, “but I’m not sure we’ll be shouting that from the rooftops – we still have our British reserve after all! Clearly we do take some influence from across the pond, whether that’s the Eagles or the Charlie Daniels Band, and its very flattering being thought of as being somewhere towards the front of the renewed interest in the Americana sound going on in the UK right now.” 2019 is set to be a bumper year for the band, encompassing the release of Noble Jack’s follow-up album ‘Stay Awake,’ a blistering set at the Country 2 Country Festival at London’s O2, an Autumn headline tour, and the aforementioned invitation to the Americana Music Festival in Nashville this September. The increase in profile has come hand in hand with a collective raising of the bar for the band. “We’ve embraced the notion of our music as something of an antidote to unhappiness,” explains Will. “I hope that doesn’t sound pretentious, but we’ve had enough feedback from our fanbase to believe that we might be able to make a difference in people’s lives.” It’s a notion with which Matty concurs; “Its troubled times out there right now of course, and people’s mental wellbeing is becoming an increasingly talked about topic, which is great. We’ve had messages relaying how our songs
have helped people through some tough times. I can tell you, that’s a mighty humbling thing to hear.” The deluxe version of ‘Stay Awake’ features a new track titled ‘Enjoy The Ride,’ a song which Will wrote in the aftermath of having a friend commit suicide, as he struggled to comprehend how things could have imploded quite so tragically. He explains, “Those were tough times, and whilst you can’t do anything to un-do what happened, I did want to send a message out there to people that we must appreciate and enjoy what we have. That message was ‘Enjoy The Ride.’” So whilst those seeking lyrical depth and introspection need search no further, for anyone else just looking for a damned good time, a Noble Jacks gig is the place to be; because Noble Jacks do care, and do want to bring a little light into the darker corners of our souls. For a band whose very raison d’etre is the connection with its audience, so should it always be.