London Folk Magazine and News
Jon Boden - Afterglow
Jon Boden´s latest album Afterglow is due for release next month.
Afterglow follows on from Boden´s 2009 post-apocalyptic concept-album masterpiece ‘Songs From The Floodplain’. Whereas Floodplain was largely rural in setting, Afterglow plunges the listener into the heaving chaos of a dystopian street carnival, an Orwellian mashup of Bonfire Night and Diwali. Through his unique songwriting Boden tells the story of two star-crossed lovers trying to find each other amongst a backdrop of decaying buildings, burning oil drums, home-made fireworks, tribal rioting and Bacchanalian revelry.
We thought you would enjoy this great interview on Jon Wilks´ Folk Conversations blog for Grizzly Folk:
"Jon Boden needs no introduction for most of the people reading this blog. Front man to Bellowhead, with whom he sold somewhere around a quarter of a million albums, and bagger of 12 Radio 2 Folk Music awards, he has also knocked up a string of accolades with bands and projects that have included Spiers & Boden and The Remnant Kings.
And yet, it says quite a lot about the state of English folk music that someone with that kind of CV is not yet a household name. I must admit that, until the folk music bug bit me, I had assumed Spiers & Boden was a chain of hipster barber shops, and mentioning his name to non-folk friends asking about the next Grizzly Folk interview has, more often than not, drawn blank looks. It therefore says even more about the good nature of the man himself that he’d happily sit through questions about his own introduction to folk music that he must’ve answered a million times before.
Afterglow itself could go a long way towards building on his already formidable reputation. It’s a fascinating recording that, on first listen, does not obviously hark back to the folk tradition that he grew out of. That will inevitably divide longer-term fans, of course, although those that caught on to what he was doing with its predecessor, Songs from the Floodplain, will enjoy the continuity. Taking the listener on a passion-fuelled night out through a dystopian street carnival, newcomers to Jon Boden himself will likely find a whole lot to get excited about. It’s one of those albums that really rewards repeat listens, the songs slowly get their hooks into you and then refuse to let go, and it’s extremely well crafted in the same way that many of the great concept albums of the 70s were. If atmospheric, epic storytelling is your thing, then slap this album onto your playlist and hit the repeat button.
For the sake of newcomers and diehards alike, this interview takes the form of a rambling conversation – a mixture of album chat and ‘introduction to’ – that works its way through the background to his new collection, Afterglow (released on October 6), the ways in which a musician goes about stringing together a concept or narrative album, a wander down the Winchester streets of his youth, and further on into Bellowhead territory – how his relationships with his former band members continue to blossom onstage and in the studio.
We caught up with him on a Tuesday morning in late September, just as the studio recording of ‘Bee Sting’ – a track from Afterglow – had been unveiled to the public…"