Win Jack Jones’s debut novel ‘Swansea To Hornsey’ – Music News



“By turns heartbreaking and heart-swelling, this is the story of a working-class boy overcoming grinding violence to play amongst the rock gods. Every hopeless boy should read it.” – Caitlin Moran

“Deeply intelligent Welsh punk poet with a story to tell. The last great British rock and roll guitarist. Leading a generation. Alcohol Kiss is the song of the decade.” – Alan McGee

“This book is not celebrating darkness, it’s a cry from the darkness. Jack is on fire. He’s the hero, the anti-hero. That person who kicks up a fuss. Fights to get out and to change his life. His voice is somehow drenched with harmony and humanity, something rarely found. He’s not saying look down here, look how great it is, he is saying how about giving us a f**kin’ hand out. I love him, we need this kid.” – Peter Doherty

“If you needed proof that Jack Jones is one of the finest young wordsmiths in the country, then now you have it. This is a thing of beauty. Underground darling. Sweaty gigs. Catchy songs. Quirky poems. No one does it better.” – Tim Burgess

“Jack Jones’ words light up the printed page like magnesium released into oxygen.” – Pete Paphides

As frontman of Trampolene, Jack Jones has enjoyed Top 10 success on the Independent Album Chart, hit the road as special guest to Liam Gallagher at the personal request of the iconic frontman, and had the honour of being the first band to headline Swansea Arena. But long before the band’s raggedly poetic indie-punk connected with fans, Jack grew up in a working class family in Swansea with a dream to do something different: something adventurous, something creative, something that could express the things that might otherwise go unsaid.

And so as the band started to make a name for themselves, Jack also started documenting his experiences in his debut novel. That book, ‘Swansea To Hornsey’, will now finally receive its first release on November 17th as the debut publishing project from Peter Doherty’s Strap Originals. While it was written in 2017, Jack and Peter give it a final touch of refinement by collaborating on edits during downtime as Trampolene toured Europe as guests to The Libertines in 2022.

Originally envisioned as a companion to Trampolene’s debut album of the same name, ‘Swansea To Horney’ charts Jack’s early life in mostly biographical form, from the moment his parents first met to just before Trampolene started work on their debut record at Ray Davies’ Konk Studios in Muswell Hill, London (the ‘Hornsey’ of the title). The book’s chapters offer fleeting episodic vignettes of his memories: growing pains, youthful misadventures, tumultuous love, early music passions, the fractured relationship with his father, playing his first gig with the bluntly-named Shithole – right through to Trampolene’s initial moment of blossoming potential.

The result is a novel that so eloquently demonstrates that an outsider with no nepo connections or financial backing can strive to use their creativity to change the supposedly preset direction of their life’s adventure. His voice is immediate, distinctive and rich with caustically dry humour. It’s a talent that he demonstrates from the moment of his conception, his words feeling like he was glancing down in horror like a fly-on-the-wall. As he writes:

Despite using all the contraception known to our potluck planet (Mum was on the Pill, Dad had a Johnny on), I was created through a heavily drunken sailor session of a one-night engagement. It was over pretty quickly. I could hear my parents argue from inside the womb… Mum shouting: ‘It’s your bloody fault, you must have sperm like torpedoes!’ Dad shouting back: ‘It’s your bloody fault, you must have ovaries like minesweepers!’ As you can imagine, I dreaded my birth.

While ‘Swansea To Hornsey’ didn’t attract a publisher the first time around, Jack seeded out his manuscript as Trampolene hit the road, earning a plethora of influential admirers – including John Cooper Clarke and Peter Doherty, who he performs with as part of Peter Doherty and the Puta Madres.

In addition, Trampolene will release an anniversary edition of the ‘Swansea To Hornsey’ that same day. Set to be released on digital, CD and three coloured vinyl formats, this new version adds a five-track XFM Session to its digital version, while the album features alternate artwork in the shape of the original sleeve that was planned before drummer Mr Williams left the band before its release (spoiler for the uninitiated: he’s back!).

Jack says, “The album and the book is ‘Swansea To Hornsey’ as it should have been. We couldn’t find anyone to publish the book the first time round. I always wanted to give fans the ultimate experience of listening to the album and reading my book. I was gobsmacked when Peter Doherty said he loved the book so much he was gonna start a publishing company and put my book into the world – not something you hear every day. We edited it together as we drove across Europe, getting to know each other even deeper. It was a magical time, and now this all feels like a surreal dream. The album has been going for silly money on eBay and fans are always asking for it to be repressed, so we thought f**k it, let’s make it happen.”

Completed by Wayne Thomas (bass/vocals), Trampolene recently announced three shows in which they will play the ‘Swansea To Hornsey’ album in its entirety. In addition, Jack Jones will preview the new releases with a solo show and a reading from his novel at The Libertines’ Albion Rooms in Margate on October 28th.

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