voice on the verge #18: saint saviour
Things you think you don’t need but really you do: (1) the world’s biggest teapot; (2) a McCain–Palin fridge magnet; (3) yet another cover of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. Bear with us on the last one. Better known for parading around stages wearing various spangly outfits and looking terribly relevant glamorously pouting with a keytar as lead singer of The RGBs, Becky Jones has come over all tremulous and sensitive for her debut solo single, out this week on iTunes and as a limited edition 7-inch vinyl. Originally conceived as a choral arrangement and toured around London’s independent cinemas upon the release of Anton Corbin’s ‘Control’, the much-praised cover hits all the right buttons. Matching Charlotte Martin in the earnestness stakes, it’s undeniably beautiful but, to these ears, is actually bettered by the original tracks, ‘Fallen Trees’ and ‘I Like To Hide’, also on the single. Saint Saviour’s agitated trilling works gorgeously in these understated, ghostly songs and mark this solo project out as one to watch. Speaking of watching, check out the video for ‘Fallen Trees’ below and acquaint yourself better with Becky as she answers our questionnaire…
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What were you like at school?
I was a painfully shy weirdo kid who lurked about the back of the sports hall smoking.
What did you listen to when you were growing up?
Jimi Hendrix, Dire Straits, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Carole King, Janis Joplin, Marvin Gaye, The Pogues, Lauren Hill, Dr Dre, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, The Sex Pistols, A Tribe Called Quest, Eurythmics.
Who was your childhood idol?
My childhood hero was Doogie Howser. Deffo.
What did you want to be until you decided to become a musician…if you ever did ‘decide’ that is!
I really wanted to be a fashion designer. I had books and books of my designs and I don’t have a clue where they are. Dammit.
What would you be if you weren’t a musician
Having seen the fashion industry first hand, I’d run a greasy spoon.
Who was the first person/band you saw in concert?
Supergrass, and I was blown a-way. Big time.
What would you tell your 18-year-old self if you could go back in time?
What’s the biggest guilty pleasure in your record collection?
I don’t feel any guilt for anything I’ve got really, but I do have to double check my company when stuff like ‘La Danse Macabre’ by Saint Saens comes on. I have a lot of ‘diverse’ stuff on my iPod. I’ve never listened to anything really embarrassing. Tell a lie, I have every Thin Lizzy album ever, but I inherited them. Honest.
Tell us about your favourite instrument…
My favourite instrument is my piano. A very, very special person gave me an old electric one about four years ago and I taught myself to play with their encouragement. He borrowed it back for a gig and broke it, then bought me a whole new one. It’s taught me how to really immerse and express myself in music because now I have the controls. There are extremely few greater pleasures in my life than sitting, closing my eyes and singing a tune with it.
Do you have an instrument you’d still like to learn? What’s stopping you?
I would absolutely love to be a good producer and get to grips with the software I use. I’m working on it, but I tend to think it’s better to focus on being great at one thing so it’s going to take a bit of time!
Which artist would you most like to work with – your dream collaboration?
I’d probably die of shyness and it’s impossible to choose one person so I reckon Patti Smith and Anthony Hegarty, and if there’s room, Leonard Cohen, to cheer things up. And the backing band would be Depeche Mode.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever worked and what was so bad about it?
I cleaned toilets in the Ericsson building in Guildford. Everything was bad about it: it was in Guildford, I was a skint music student with no music career. That was the darkest two years of my life.
What are your views on feminism?
It’s being used and abused!
What are your pet hates?
Teenage boys who walk down the street holding their bits with their hand inside their trousers. I HATE that, and WHY do they do it?? Also people who put loads of useless info on internet forums.
What’s your biggest fear?
Realising I’m not very good and I’ve worked all this time for nothing.
What was the last good book you read and how did it affect you?
The last book I read was ‘Kill Your Friends’ by John Niven, and it made me look like a nutter on the tube as I laughed my pants off. I also lost a lot of sleep due to paranoia. Read it!
What’s your tipple?
Vodka and grapefruit, which sadly doesn’t tend to grace my riders very often!
What kind of person would have sex to your music?
Someone with a very open mind, or clinical depression.
If you chanced upon Aladdin’s lamp what three things would you wish for?
Everlasting energy, to fly without being scared, and the ability to do stand up comedy.
How are you most likely to die and what would you want written on your headstone?
I’ll probably be smothered to death in my sleep by the sheer number of tiny dogs I’ll own when I’m a mad old lady, and on my headstone will most likely be written, ‘Here lies Becky Jones, what the f**k was that all about?’
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photo credit: Tim Brown