Fresh from the European leg of a world class tour, I meet up with Joe Allen – front man of “hit band” Joe & The Jon Bovies. He is decidedly not fresh after hitting up Kingfisher Centre in Redditch only last night; staggering out of his mate’s Fiat Punto a full hour late, head adorned with a damp towel. I don’t know what the towel is about, and I’m not going to ask.

 Joe, you look a bit rough. Are you okay to do this?

– I didn’t choose the rock ‘n’ roll life, the rock ‘n’ roll life chose me.

(he bangs both feet on the table and lights up a Marlborough red)

Joe, you can’t smoke in here

(stubs out cigarette on shoe, whips out vape instead)

– That’s fine, I actually prefer ‘Cherry Sensation’ vape liquid.

Okay. Let’s begin by talking about your musical history. How did you get into music?

– I once had a serious chat with a pigeon, his name was Marcus and he told me to become the best Rockstar in the world, better than Bono even. So that’s what I did. I never saw that pigeon again, but I think of him often.

Amazing, so how did you start to hone your skills?

– Guitar Hero 3.

Your upcoming exhibition at Devonport Guildhall is quite the departure from your usual Wednesday nights at Wembley Arena; what made you decide to put on something so small?

– I just want to give back to the community, you know? I knew this would be so special to so many people, and I know it would make Marcus the pigeon proud.

 

That’s so inspiring. Who would you say best inspires your work?

– Imagine Dragons and Michael McDonald.

Your world class tour has caused quite the stir, tell me a bit about life on the road.

– As everyone knows, my side job is being an artist. Touring is so important, to get the whole spectrum of human emotion, you just can’t get that popping down the chippy. Painting is pain.

Great! So for life off the road, is there a Mrs Jon Bovi we should know about?

– Yes. My lady is named Rain, she lives in a yurt on a goat farm in the depths of Cornwall. She only communicates via telegram on the second Tuesday of each month, so I don’t see her too often, but then again – that’s more time for music and painting.

She sounds amazing, even if her presence in your life will break a few of your fans’ hearts!

(his phone rings, he answers)

– Hi Mum, thanks for calling me back! Yep, I’d really like alphabet spaghetti on toast for tea. What? No, I will not eat bourbons. Custard creams only please. Okay bye. *Sighs*

Everything alright Joe?

– Yep, I’ll be fine, honestly. I just don’t like salmon.

Let’s talk about your exhibition opening night. Can you give us any info?

– Sure, it’s on the 1st of August from 6-8pm. Our keyboard player moonlights as a wedding DJ, he’s planned his best wedding playlist for the night.

Sounds amazing, are you doing any other activities?

– I’ll be signing CD’s on the 7th of August from 9am-3pm. Just gives me some more time with my fans, which this is all about.

Do people even buy CD’s anymore?

– What kind of question is that? I’ve given up my valuable time to come and speak to you and you don’t even like CD’s? I bet you listen to music on Soundcloud, don’t you? This is ridiculous, I’m calling my manager.

With that, Joe stomped off, Nokia 3310 in hand. I’m not quite sure what just happened but I hope he forgives me before opening night!

*This ‘interview’ is just for fun promoting Joe’s exhibition and should not be taken too seriously, although you will be able to meet this alter-ego at his preview evening and CD signing!* 

Joe’s exhibition will feature his traditional paintings and a smattering of new works, as well as merch from the “hit band” ‘Joe and the Jon Bovies’ who have recently returned from their ‘world class tour’. Kicking off with his opening night on 1st of August here at Devonport Guildhall from 6-8pm, this preview evening is open to all and will also feature a special edition of Ocean Studios’ monthly creative meet up, ‘First Thursday Social’. Join us for this weird & wonderful exhibition with a difference! 

Open 1st – 17th August 
9am-3pm Monday to Friday
9am-12pm Saturday

Meet the Artist: Wednesday 7th August 9am-3pm