Howard Jones living the electric dream

THE 1980s was a time of electronic experimentation, thanks mostly to the emergence of the synthesiser.

Arguably there was no greater practitioner of the device throughout the period than English synth-pop pioneer Howard Jones (pictured).

Jones, via albums The Human's Lib and Dream Into Action, took the use of synthesised sounds to a new level, and consistently topped the charts with his brave new sound.

A classically trained pianist and songwriter, he survived the '80s and has since explored numerous musical styles.

In 2010 he decided to return to his archives and, for the first time, performed those two albums from the 1980s in their entirety.

He performed them live at the Indig02 in London's 02 Arena complex.

The concert was such a success that he remastered and re-released the albums.

Then he took the show on the road.

Now Australia has the chance to see it this month .

Jones and his electronic entourage will play the Castle Hill RSL Club on September 13.

He said performing the two albums had been quite rewarding but it was a "massive amount of work".

"There were months and months of meticulous work," Jones said.

"We set out to recreate the music properly, not just make approximations of the sound, but really make it like you were hearing them in their full glory.

"I'm not using the old gear that I did in the old days because it always breaks down and it drives me mad.

"It's lovely to look at and it sounds great but you can't take it on the road.

"People have access now in their home — in their living room and on their iPad — to these sorts of sounds [music creation programs] and that kind of technology.

"It's interesting isn't it, because it's become easier for people to have access to it but then they realise how difficult it is because it's all in the way you put it together."

Castle Hill RSL, September 13.

Tickets: $60. Details: castlehillrsl.com.au or call 8858 4800.

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