Belfast, County Antrim
Joby Fox is a Belfast-based singer/songwriter and war veteran of the music industry in Northern Ireland. As a songwriter and artist his honesty and raw energy is what makes him a relevant figure in the Irish music and art scene today; Always searching, always evolving artistically. His latest work has put him firmly on the map.
His End of the War is a music and film project comprising seven beautifully interwoven tracks and a short film, Lost Commandos, which is an eerie and gritty urban ghost story about four front-line combatants caught in a trap. Parts of the film was shot in Stormont's Parliament Buildings, and this is also where the project is being launched on 3rd May 2012.
Having produced the album and directed the film himself, it is an interesting turn in his career which spans three decades. His work reaches deep into the soul of humanity and is always up-front and personal, drawing from folk, country and western, punk and pop, and Irish traditional.
Joby says, "The album is a play on my personal growth and 'The Troubles' which raged around me in my youth. Conflicts don't always occur in the outside world, they also occur internally. We don't always know what is right and we struggle for the answer that sometimes 'just isn't there'. Understanding the principles of cause-and-effect is something I became interested in growing up in the troubled streets of Belfast. It seemed there was some natural law which was playing out - whether that was so, or not. The thought captivated me and led me on a journey into the soul."
End of the War album is a musical journey weaved together by songs and captivating soundscapes – but, it isn't just that; It is an artistic and personal statement from Joby Fox. The thing is, he doesn't care what anybody thinks. It is here. Take it, if you can, and if you do, there is no doubt that you will enjoy it and find something of yourself in the words and melodies.
When at the age 14 he accidentally saw Rory Gallagher perform in the Ulster Hall his life was set off in an unforseen direction. Three years later Joby was himself performing in the Ulster Hall, having been mentored by Gerry McAvoy the bass player in Rory Gallagher's band. Now 30 years on Joby is the mentor of many young artists himself.
The Bankrobbers arrested:
Joby started his career in a punky band called The Bankrobbers, under Terri Hooley's world famous Good Vibrations label. The band was well-known for their publicity stunts at a time when music promotions was almost non-existent in Northern Ireland. Most (in)famously, The Bankrobbers printed £50 notes with their logo on, which would later have them airlifted and flown to court in London on charges of counterfeiting and forgery. The band was eventually signed to EMI in 1983 and released two singles – Jenny and Dear Miss Problem Page.
Energy Orchard - Belfast's no. 1:
After The Bankrobbers in 1985 Joby went to London again to focus on his musical career. He formed Energy Orchard and managed to land a record deal with MCA in 1988.
It was Energy Orchard's first single Belfast, written by Fox that really kicked off the band's career, making it to No.1 in the Irish charts. They worked hard and toured the first album Energy Orchard extensively in UK, Europe and North America over a period of 3 years till Joby left the band in 1991.
In the time since Energy Ochard Joby has never stopped writing songs, and it is on strength of this enormous amount of material that End of the War has come to fruition. However, in the past few years he has balanced his creative work with working in the local community in Belfast city centre. As one of the founders of the Folktown area, in which his rehearsal/recording studio is situated, he has become increasingly more involved in social enterprise. Combining his expertise in music with social enterprise he is now working to re-invigorate this neglected area of the city through music, arts and culture.
End of the War is available for download from www.jobyfox.com
The cd which has three additional tracks can also be bought from www.jobyfox.com
End of the War and Lost Commandos will be launched in The Long Gallery, Stormont Parliament Buildings on 3rd May 2012, 12.30pm.
King Street Arts
48 King St