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Plus or Minus Zero

Plus or Minus Zero

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Price: £10.33

Product Notes

Shakespeare and the Bible: 'PLUS OR MINUS ZERO' 'Shakespeare and the Bible' is the band-name used by the Welsh singer-songwriter Owen Jones. The original band was formed in Jones' adopted home-town of Hamburg in the early 90s. For a couple of years they played frequently in both northern Germany and southern France before disbanding in 1997, having recorded one live album ('If You Want To Get To Heaven...') and one studio EP ('International Departures'). Over the next decade or so Jones was involved in various musical projects (including sporadic outings as the drummer of The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy), but his song-writing had dried up more or less completely. He recalls: 'I think I wrote one song ('Metamorpheme') during those ten years. Then I got seriously ill in early 2007, and that inevitably led to some reassessment. Intimations of mortality and all that. The songs just started coming again - some of them musical ideas that that had been dormant for years, some just straight out of the blue. Of course, having a great bunch of musicians around helped a lot, as well.' The cover-band route was abandoned, and the group decided to concentrate on original material again - and so the name Shakespeare and the Bible was re-adopted. The new-look SATB consists of Jones on rhythm guitar, accordion and piano, together with original member Oliver Hasse on harmonica and keyboards, plus drummer Adrian van de Velde, bassist and chanteuse Kristina Rauen and guitarist Christian Schütze. It is this band that gives a cohesive sound to the varied musical styles to be heard in the 12 songs on the new CD 'Plus Or Minus Zero' - ranging from the punk-coloured energy of 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeah' and 'All The Old Dudes' (a paean to numerous musical influences, above all Bowie), to the jazz-tinged ballads 'Your Man In Havana' and 'Metamorpheme' (to which Jazz Butcher cohort Max Eider lends his inimitable guitar). The themes of the songs are equally wide-ranging: light-hearted ditties such as 'Fritzi's Bar' and 'Gero With A Chainsaw' are counter-balanced by the furious political protest of 'Thou Shalt Kill' (in which Bush and Blair are cast as Noddy and Big-Ears) and 'Plus Or Minus Zero'. The wintry Hamburg landscape is recognisable in both the title track and 'The Ballad Of Joey Smoke', whereas 'Ca Me Plait' takes us joyfully to Paris in the spring, and 'Sulking In Wales' (first recorded on Jones' debut solo album of the same name in 1988) speaks for it's self-ironic self. And then, of course, there are the love songs...


Artist: Shakespeare and the Bible
Title: Plus or Minus Zero
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 09/06/2009
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 4038712090183
This product is a special order