If you’ve caught The Libertines on their current arena tour, you might have wondered where they found the scruffy rock poet reciting verses about ketamine, pound shops and rock’n’roll before the show. Well, that’s one Jack Jones, singer in Welsh indie rockers Trampolene, plucked from life living in the back of his broken-down van to follow in the proud pre-Libs poetry footsteps of none other than Russell Brand. We caught up with him to get his side of the story…
“It’s been a bit surreal to be honest. I’ve been doing a couple of poems and introducing the band onto the stage. I first did it in Cardiff, the boys asked me to come and do it and it went so well they asked me to do the rest of the tour. They’d both seen the videos and heard the poems and thought it was cool. Back when they used to do gigs they had people come on before them. Carl told me the last person to do what I’m doing was Russell Brand.”
What poems are you doing?
“I’m doing Ketamine, Poundland and I’ve written a new poem for them called To Be A Libertine. It’s what it is to be a fan of the band and see them. Ketamine is obviously about everyone’s favourite horse tranquiliser but I was trying to write something interesting about something that’s a round all my friends and gets talked about a lot. It’s not pro-ketamine, I’ve never taken ketamine, but our bass player Wayne had a weird experience on it and I felt like I wanted to write about it. The funny thing about Poundland is I was living above a 99p store in Muswell Hill and trying to write about that but it worked with Poundland better. This week they closed down the 99p store and reopened it as a Poundland!”
How have you been going down?
“The first night Pete came on and introduced me and I think it went well. I just stand there and give it but everyone seemed to cheer. The Libertines lyrics are so poetic, so it’s basically like that without the music, making people listen to words.”
What’s it like on the Libs’ bus these days?
“It’s been really sweet, we’ve been writing songs. They’ve always got guitars out, writing songs. Pete’s been showing me some of his poems and prose, Carl’s been teaching me stuff on the guitar, we’ve been playing Beatles songs. Carl gave me a leather jacket and Pete heard that I was homeless, living in the van so any money I had I could use to pay for rehearsals or recording, and Peter heard that our van had broken down and died and he offered me his camper van. I think he wanted me to look after it for a while. So I’ll be moving into Pete’s camper van when I get back!”
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Has it been as wild as you’d have expected on the road with The Libertines?
“It is rock’n’roll, everyone’s out having a good time, but it’s more about a creative thing. They’re writing and always playing music and talking about films. It’s not like green teas, everyone’s having a laugh, having some drinks and playing some songs. There haven’t been any times that Peter’s gone AWOL at all.”
Jack’s band Trampolene play Brixton Jamm on February 6. Tickets available here.