I was born in the Black Country, raised in the Midlands. I was a good kid. My years as a righteous citizen peaked at fourteen and a half. Then everything changed – except for music which had always been there. From listening to American crooners in my dad’s car to discovering punk and new wave, it all suggested that life was elsewhere so, as soon as I could, that’s where I went.
London fed my imagination, maybe a little too much at that stage and eventually I went off to America. I was twenty then. I moved around a lot, got in a few scrapes but all in all I got by.
Back in England, I worked in smelting foundries, on building sites, shook cocktails, sold beef, went to RADA but my head was still full of music. I guess I became a man with many hats. Gradually, I’ve been earning the luxury of wearing just one – the hat I sing in. Whatever dumb job I’ve had to do to survive, on the side I’ve been digging out my voice and learning how to articulate what I think and feel about the world through song. It was always about trying to reach somewhere that felt authentic. Some people have it all there at nineteen. I wasn’t one of those people but I’m getting there now.
I’m still living in London but I spent a lot of time over recent years in Los Angeles, flirting with the dream machine. I made most of my first album there, ‘One eye open, one eye closed’ with the guy that produces Lucinda Williams’ records and some amazing musicians including her sideman, Doug Pettibone and Frank Zappa’s brass section. You can make things happen there that you can’t in London. During recording, I ran out of places to stay, so I begged and borrowed some gear, went out to the Mojave desert and finished the record there on my own. Out there you’re nothing but who you are and that’s a good place to be for making music.
The album did its job. The critics liked it and it got me a tour with Lucinda Williams. Playing solo at places like the Barbican was quite a trip after playing in small clubs to a couple of drunks and the odd stray dog. Since then I’ve been touring on my own, creating a small but loyal U.K. audience.
In early 2016, following a meeting at Livingstone Towers between Jimmy in A&R, Jimmy in Marketing and Jimmy the Artist, a new album went into production with London’s finest – Evan Jenkins on drums (Neil Cowley Trio), Matt Round on bass (James Morrison, Billy Bragg), Doggen Foster (Spiritualised) and Matt White (Pete Docherty, Temperance Movement) on guitars. Sadly, Jimmy in Accounts was sacked and escorted from the building by his therapist, screaming ‘You’re the mad fuckers, not me’.
The record’s done and due for a summer release in 2017 followed by a UK tour in the autumn.