THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The Jaded Hearts Club are a new band featuring frontmen Miles Kane (The Last Shadow Puppets) and Nic Cester (Jet), guitarists Graham Coxon (Blur) and Jamie Davis, plus Matt Bellamy (Muse) on bass and drummer Sean Payne (The Zutons).
The band were formed in 2017 when Davis, a British guitarist living in Los Angeles who previously ran Coxon’s Transcopic Records label in England, wanted to book a Beatles covers band to play at his birthday party. The cost proved to be excessive and the available tribute acts were drab, so Davis had a back-up plan. “I realised I knew a bunch of half decent British musician friends living in L.A. so I thought I’d ask if they’d come together to form an early ’60s Cavern-era Beatles band.” They kept their plans a secret. So when family and friends turned up at the party, they were shocked to see an all-star band rampaging through a Cavern Club-era Beatles set. “The place went nuts,” smiles Davis, “and everyone had such a good time that we decided to do it again.”
If their debut gig was a big surprise, their second raised the bar in dramatic fashion after Stella McCartney asked Bellamy if the band would play her fashion show in Los Angeles in January 2018. They arrived to see an A-list crowd gathered to see them: Quincy Jones, Katy Perry, James Corden and even Ringo Starr were in attendance. And then things took a turn for the unbelievable. Paul McCartney strolled on stage, winked at Davis and led the Hearts through I Saw Her Standing There and Helter Skelter. In the space of just two gigs, The Beatles covers band had effectively become the surrogate Beatles.
Things progressed in the same way that they had started. They played SXSW; a late night gig in Chicago after Bellamy had completed a stadium show with Muse; supported Roger Daltrey at The Royal Albert Hall in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust; and headlined London’s legendary 100 Club. Expanding their repertoire to cover other classic British rock songs from the ’60s, the 100 Club show was a tribute to Davis’s late father, with all proceeds donated to the Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. The charity further benefited from the limited edition vinyl-only album Live At The 100 Club.
Back in Los Angeles, Bellamy and Davis wanted to develop the band further and started working on an album, with Bellamy producing at Red Room Studios in Los Angeles. The band decided to focus primarily on recording lost classics from the world of Northern Soul, supplemented by their raw, soulful takes on some famous standards from the era. “Living in L.A. it seems like no-one has heard of Northern Soul,” says Davis. “We just love the story of how the north of England fell in love with American soul music even after it stopped having hits, and using that music as the soundtrack to a good night out.”
“I read somewhere recently, which made me laugh, that rock is the new jazz,” adds Bellamy. “It’s becoming an esoteric genre, but still with huge historical and cultural importance. Like jazz, which often reinvents old songs, The Jaded Hearts Club is continuing the tradition of how bands like The Beatles and The Stones started out — finding great soul and blues standards and recording them in a more modern style.”
Bellamy and Davis shifted through hundreds of songs as they researched what material they should record for the album. The first taster of the project (with Miles Kane on lead vocals) was a raucous rock ’n’ roll take on a Northern Soul classic, The Isley Brothers’ 1962 song Nobody But Me, recorded in the spirit of The Human Beinz’s cult version that followed in 1968. The band’s motivation, states Davis, is simple. “It goes back to the purest point of why people started bands in the first place — a group of great musicians getting together to play for fun with no pressure. We’re doing it because we have a bloody good time.”