Sam Jones next to the Vistula River with the Józef Piłsudski Bride in the background, Toruń PL – December 2016 (shortly after moving to Poland)

When London musician Sam Jones arrived at the railway station in Toruń, he did not know that this city would become his home for several years, before the end of the same year. Following the suspension bridge over the hazy Vistula River towards the city centre, he felt it was no accident  that this unique place appeared on the map of his first European tour . He came to Toruń to take part in an annual event under the slogan “Guitar Days”, where the masters and enthusiasts of this instrument had already met several times. This time, the most important guest of the festival organised at the Hard Rock Pub Pamela was Jennifer Batten, known for her collaboration with Michael Jackson. He appeared as support for the well-known guitarist and led guitar workshops. Here he also met Zbigniew “Tony” Olewicz – a Welshman of Polish descent, who was born in a hospital in Wrexham, later changed into an art college, which Sam attended! The previously mentioned Hard Rock Pub club Pamela has become an important place to which the musician will return several times thanks to the hospitality of the owner – Darek Kowalski. He was here again six months later, playing earlier in Ostrów Mazowiecki and Poznań, as part of his second European tour. Forced to cancel a concert in Nice, he decided to visit Toruń again and extend his stay in the city of Copernicus. This time, he took to the Hard Rock Pub Pamela stage as part of their yearly festival organised there, bringing together fans of guitar music. Among the artists performing on that day was also Ilona Szumańska, now the fiancée of Sam! This is how the journey of several years began, which brought many unexpected stories and encounters in the life of a musician. They initiated the most interesting year of Sam’s stay in Poland during 2017, which resulted in establishing cooperation with Relco London, as well as the creation of Angry Town. Through this activity, Sam tried to transfer to the canvas of the Polish music scene elements of an the important Mod subculture from British history. The Toruń adventure began fully when in December 2016, just before his 37th birthday, Sam made the final decision to leave Great Britain. He got on a bus, having only his guitar and a small suitcase of clothes, but with relief and curiosity about what this trip would bring him. This book is about how all this unfolded, and is only a chapter in the vastness of many stories.

Marta Dembińska

In December 2016, Sam Jones moved to Poland, where he spent three years living in Toruń. He first appeared in our country in 2007, playing his first ever concert outside the UK. The concert took place in the Mięsna Cafe in Poznań. He appeared in Poland again as a support for Jenifer Batten in April 2016. He returned here in November of the same year to play a dozen or so concerts in various locations.
Since moving to Toruń, he has played many concerts, appeared on radio and television, and met with students from various schools. He was also the frontman of two lines of the Angry Town band. Several albums are available that reflect his ties to Poland. These are two albums entitled “Live In Poland”. Both feature live recordings, one from Sam’s solo performances and the other from Angry Town. Another release is the Retrospective album, which is a collection of recordings made over the years of musical activity. It also includes songs from Angry Town. During Sam’s stay in Toruń, an acoustic album entitled “Penitantry Of The Heart” was also released, which had its premiere at a concert at Hanza Cafe. With Angry Town, Sam also recorded a cover of The Damned’s New Rose, considered to be the first punk song. The band also appeared in one of the episodes of the Musical Stall, well known to the inhabitants of Toruń. On his own and with the band, he also supported artists such as Kobranocka, Koniec świata or Moriah Woods.
Currently, Sam is working on recording two covers of the band Republika. The original members of the band will also participate in the recordings. The effects of the work will be presented at a concert as part of the Grzegorz Ciechowski Days, which is regularly held in Toruń.
More details about his musical activity during his stay in Poland can be found in the “A British Boy In Poland” section on his website, where a biography from this period is being created.

Sam Jones & Ged Lynn, The Hatch Bar, Liverpool UK – July 2017

Sam Jones & Ged Lynn performing at The Hatch Bar, Liverpool UK – July 2017

Sam Jones (Relco London shoot), Toruń PL – April 2017

Sam Jones performing an impromptu show at La Pharmacie, Namur BE – March 2019

Sam Jones performing at L’uZinne, Brussels BE – October 2018 (audio only)

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones with his customised Yamaha RGX 121-D, London UK – ? 2014

Sam Jones travelling in Luxembourg LU – July 2019

ITALY, ISLE OF MAN, POLAND, ENGLAND, CZECH REPUBLIC, WALES incl. ANGLESEY, GERMANY, SCOTLAND, BELGIUM, IRELAND, NETHERLANDS & FRANCE 

 

“I never really thought about this until I began this biography journey, I’ve come to realise I’ve created a few simple looks which I’ve rotated between over the years. I’d be wearing this stuff both on & off stage now & the more I’ve refined it on-stage the less I wear it off stage! It’s nearly always pitch black, I think the plain t-shirt has been the big one, long or short-sleeved, the suede ‘desert boots’, the leather shoelace, the self-cropped jeans I’d cut the collar from a denim jacket to make a frayed collerless edge, the same with my jeans wear leather shoe laces around my neck. I’ve been inspired by the things I love, it’s hard to confess but I must have been inspired by someone else. As well as his music his unique mod/alternative hybrid sense of style caught the eye of fashion label Relco London in 2017 who used him to model their clothes for thier website relcolondon.com where he is heavily featuredHe rekindled his relationship with the company in late 2019 for the Bulletproof promo videoshoot and can often be seen wearing their gear on stage and in photos. 

Sam Jones self-portrait, London UK – June 2015

Sam Jones (Relco London shoot), Toruń PL – April 2017

Sam Jones gig poster (Camouflage Booking 2020) / Sam Jones fronting Angry Town at Lizard King, Toruń PL – November 2017

REV & SNELL (TOWERS OF LONDON/DAY 21/THE PRODIGY), Ed Wight, Joseph Mydell (Royal Shakespeare Company), Robbie Kelman (The Dripping Lips), Ged Lynn (The Stairs), David Caplin (Go-Kart Mozart), Belinda De Bruyn (Da Hush), Charlie Harper & Paul Slack (UK Subs), PJ (Anti-Nowhere League), Sławomir Ciesielski (Republika), Malcolm Joseph (Grace Jones), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers in Stranger Things), Richard Marcangelo (Manfred Mann‘s Earth Band), Michael Owen (footballer), Tom Hipkin (Subculture), Andy Bell (Erasure), Danny Ward (Gengahr), Tony Piper (Vice Squad), David Henshaw & Brian James (The Damned

Urban Dogs, The Membranes (John Robb), Moriah Woods, Charlie Harper, Koniec Świata, UK Subs, Tatia Jayne Starkey (Ringo Starr‘s Granddaugher), Kobranocka, The Steepwater Band, Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson) & The Coral

After making the decision to become a solo artist in 1998 Sam Jones singer, songwriter & guitarist has written, recorded & performed almost constantly since. He played his debut solo gig as Sam Jones near to his hometown in Chester at Telfords Warehouse, a place that became Synonymous with testing the waters for a while. The set for the evening included the songs Did I Tell You? & Secret. Most remembered for founding Goth-garage outfit The Artists Rifles with whom it’s various line-ups has enabled Sam Jones to showcase his songs both as live performances & in the studio as a band or even ‘as though a band’ sometimes resorting to playing drums or bass himself on early drafts of songs. So who were Sam Jones & The Artists Rifles? Well there were two studio albums, ‘Shoot To Kill’ & ‘Cowboy Wicca’ both compiled from lose recording sessions which took place 1998-2000 the latter being an outtakes album from those tracks left over from the cherry picked tracks of the debut ‘official’ album including some acoustic demos & alternative mixes of tracks from ‘Shoot To Kill’. Sam Jones supplies the lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars. He also appears on bass guitar, drums & backing vocals on many of the recordings. Most of the tracks on both albums were recorded using tape (analogue). A mini-disc ‘Shoot To Kill’ spawned a CD single & 2 promo videos both directed by, edited by & featuring Sam Jones. Like most the bands which came later also fronted by Sam Jones they were somewhere between a solo project & a band, the difference with this one was that at most this umbrella was giving the image or impression of a band outfit as reflected in the name. It’s origins as a live band are rather vague & murky as to when they used the name for the first time & there were several over-lapping members & understudies. A consistent line up formed by accident in 2000 to play one show then reformed for another gig in 2001 then again for a string of gigs / mini-tour of Englandthat summer. The band played their last show under this title at The Limelight Club in Crewe, a mutual decision among band members to shorten the name & continue as a The Artists Rifles, a title which would out live the band into several completely new line ups bar their front man each time he relocated. There was of course some promotional pictures from 2 shoots, the first of Sam Jones which spawned the cover of the CD single & album & the second of the band. Live audio exists from their first concert at The Limelight Club & was issued as a DIY live album.

Sam Jones & The Artists Rifles – ‘Shoot To Kill’ album cover – ? 2000

Sam Jones & The Artists Rifles, ? UK – ? 2001

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones fronting The Artists Rifles at Bull & Gate, London UK – ? 2005

Sam Jones performing at ?, Liverpool UK – July 2017

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, (Jette) Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones recording drums (for new Angry Town demos) during lockdown – Black Room Studios, Llandudno UK – January 2021

Sam Jones before performing at Wild Inn, West Kirby UK – March 2020 (a poignant shot walking into the distance, unaware this would remain his last show before lockdown)

Sam Jones performing at De Gele Poraa, Jette/Brussels BE – August 2009

Sam Jones feat. Zoe & Zara performing at Artliners, Berlin DE – November 2016

Sam Jones performing at Piwnica Kulturalna Spichlerz, Kwidzyn PL – January 2017

Sam Jones performing at Vinyl Klub, Ostrów Mazowiecka PL – November 2016

Sam Jones appearence on Radio Sfera UMK, Toruń PL – February 2017

Sam Jones performing at Muzyk, Toruń PL – February 2020

Sam Jones ‘Retrospective’ (Camouflage Records 2019)

Sam Jones appearence in Tim Burton’s ‘Sweeney Todd, Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath UK – March 2007

Sam Jones performing at the Bull & Gate, London UK September 2008

Sam Jones travelling in Dublin IE – July 2019

I have until recently been using two Yamaha instruments; a customised RGX-121D and a Pacifica 112VMX. The RGX has travelled with me through the years and served me well. Unfortunately due to frequent changes of tunings and playing outdoors in various weather conditions busking, I need to put it ‘out of service’. I used a Pacifica during the first incarnation of Angry Town in Poland. Over the years I’ve found them most suitable for my style and physique, especially the neck profiles. I’ve tried many different branded guitars and have come to realise I feel most comfortable and at my best performance ability when playing a Yamaha. The RGX and Pacifica (in natural finish) have been my main instruments for years and have become a trademark image, especially in photos. I definitely need a separate guitar for slide and I imagine having two very similar looking guitars for shows. I would probably benefit from two Pacifica guitars or perhaps another model which may be closer to an RGX. I do not have any current musical instrument endorsements. – Sam Jones

Sam Jones fronting Angry Town at Lizard King, Toruń PL – November 2017

Sam Jones appearance on WWK’s Our Favorate Shop Sessions, Liverpool UK – July 2017

Sam Jones appearance on WWK’s Our Favorate Shop Sessions, Liverpool UK – July 2017

Sam Jones appearance on WWK’s Our Favorate Shop Sessions, Liverpool UK – July 2017

Sam Jones ‘Bulletproof’ promo video (Camouflage Records 2020)

Sam Jones performing at L’Uzinne, Brussels BE – October 2018

Sam Jones & The Artists Rifles ‘The Witching Hour’ promo video (Camouflage Records 2000)

Sam Jones during lockdown Llandudno, UK – ? 2020

Sam Jones performing at Hard Rock Cafe, Dublin IE – July 2019

SAM JONES TALKING ABOUT USING YAMAHA GUITARS