Artist Spotlight: Average Joe
An affecting and immediately-arresting introduction, Average Joe take the very ordinariness of everyday life – the mundanity, heartache, hard graft, and little victories – and twist it all into something transformative, and hopeful.
Brooding front-man Joe was raised in Stoke-on-Trent, an ex-industrial area whose cultural heritage – a thriving Northern Soul scene, Jimi Hendrix once playing in what is now a Weatherspoons – has slowly been eroded into a city sometimes known for little more than the birth place of Robbie Williams. Growing up, the escapist (yet seemingly unreachable) possibilities of music were made clear to Joe from an early age: his mum sang folk lullabies to him from the womb onwards, whilst his landlord Dad’s “working class attitude, yet aristocratic high standards” exposed Joe to classic, confessional storytellers such as John Martyn or Tom Waits. Joe felt emboldened to sign up for the school musical but – one scrappy year of bullying later – threw himself instead into the local post-punk scene, where his frustrations and fears were filtered into the idea of writing your own songs instead.
His enticing music is dowsed in soul and passion, with the end results being anything but Average.