Mister Jowe Head is an artist and a musician from the Midlands of England, now living in east London. Bored with his home town of Solihull, he moved to Manchester in 1976 to go to art school. By then, he had been beginning to make music with various school-friends, a project that came to be known as Swell Maps. This group emerged in the late 1970s, and are now seen as legendary pioneers of what is now referred to as the “Alternative rock” scene; they set up their own record label and mixed punk rock with experimental psychedelic sounds.
Swell Maps released four singles and two albums in a brief but dramatic career that saw them topping the UK independent charts. After that group broke up, Jowe joined Television Personalities who he met as label-mates at Rough Trade Records. Jowe played bass guitar and various other instruments for ten years with the TVPs, recording two great albums and countless singles, and toured with them around Europe regularly, and also travelled with them to Japan and the USA.
Here are some other bands he has contributed to:
The Palookas, The Househunters, Olives Hairy Custard, The Long Decline, Angel Racing Food.
Jowe continues to make challenging contemporary music, regularly performing in London, and has recently played concerts in New York, Hamburg and Berlin. He is backed by a new band called The Demi-Monde for an ambitious recent album called “Diabolical Liberties”, released by Topplers Records. The sound has a psychedelic feel, featuring a pagan folk influence plus experimental elements.
Current associates in The Demi-Monde include Australian singer and multi-instrumentalist Catherine Gerbrands, violinist Phil Martin (Bitter Springs, Subway Sect), Tim Bowen on cello (ex-Chrome Hoof, Minima) and Ravi-Low-Beer (Glassglue) on drums and percussion.
The current set includes new original songs written by Jowe, plus unusual versions of traditional songs, and material originally by Nina Simone and the film-maker Ingmar Bergman.
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