Belfast troubadour Joby Fox arrived in the wee hours at #4, fresh from another gig, and played a great set of original songs. I’d met Joby at multiple music industry events over the years and enjoyed his inimitable banter as well as his music. A well-known face (and voice!) on the Belfast music scene, Joby’s had a fascinating career, having worked with artists and producers such as Steve Earle, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Mick Glossop and John Brand. He credits a Rory Gallagher gig in the Ulster Hall for setting him off on his musical career, creating punky band called The Bankrobbers on Terri Hooley’s now-world-famous Good Vibrations label, and later Energy Orchard, landing them a five-album deal with MCA. He’s currently focused on a solo music career, with great musicians supporting. Having grown up in Belfast during the Troubles, he writes music to bring people together.
“My world was West Belfast. I lived with my family of five brothers and four sisters. The Troubles was raging and the British army was on the streets. Day in and day out there were incidents of killing and bombing, and all sorts of minor stuff that went unreported. My world was both brutal and full of love and support.
It was 1979. I was a 17 year-old corner boy but I was also a bass player in a new wave band called ‘The Bankrobbers’. A fledgling song writer, a particular piece of melody had taken up residence in my brain and every time I was alone it came to visit.. On my way home one night from my girl friend’s I passed a riot which had just been dispersed and the smoke of sulphur from rubber bullets fire was still hanging in the air. Still elevated by the feeling of young love I thought, Belfast you are like heaven, you are like hell. When I got home I sat down and wrote ‘Belfast’, 10 years later it got to number 48 in the British charts and number 1 in Ireland with my band, Energy Orchard.”
When at the age of 14 he accidentally saw Rory Gallagher perform one of his legendary awe inspiring gigs at the Ulster Hall, Belfast, Joby was not to know that three years later he would find himself playing to a packed audience at the very same venue and having been musically produced by two members of the Rory Gallagher backing band who where also playing that fateful night. Joby always had music running in his veins but he likes to celebrate that “fateful night” as his inaugural journey into the world of Music. One of the first songs Joby wrote as a teenager in war-torn Belfast would later make it to number 52 in the British Charts and number 1 in Ireland. Now 30 years later he is still doing his bit.
Contact Sophie at SOJO: +44 7795 115 132
You can also email Joby or Sophie on info[at]jobyfox[dot]com