One of Liverpool’s best known musicians suddenly found himself at risk of eviction until his many fans and admirers rallied around, Getintothis’ Jamie Bowman finds out more about Edgar Jones’ recent plight.
In an industry where over 90% of releases never recoup the money spent on them, where the rise of streaming has taken gargantuan chunks out of record sales and where bands play for ‘exposure’ rather than hard cash, perhaps it’s no surprise that so many musicians are struggling to make ends meet.
Even so there was widespread shock among Liverpool’s music community last week when well-known bassist and DJ, Edgar Jones admitted his financial situation was so dire that he risked losing his home.
Quick history lesson: originally the bass player and singer-songwriter for cult Liverpudlian garage band The Stairs, Jones, 47, went on to play with The La’s before forming and fronting the Isrites, The Big Kids, Edgar Jones & the Joneses and Free Peace. He has also played as an in demand session musician for several artists including Ian McCulloch, Paul Weller, Cherry Ghost, Saint Etienne and Ocean Colour Scene.
A particular favourite of Noel Gallagher, who called Jones‘ 2005 album Soothing Music For Stray Cats, “one of the best records I have ever heard“, the bassist also counts Johnny Marr as an ardent admirer and in 2015, The Stairs reformed to much acclaim at events including Liverpool Psych Fest.
However, on October 22, Jones was due to appear in court where he was faced with an eviction notice due to arrears of over £10,000 on his flat close to Sefton Park in Liverpool.
Apparently the cause of several service charge hikes on a building that desperately needed repair, although not strictly arrears they appeared as such on Jones‘ account leading to the summons.
At this point, music journalist Lois Wilson sprung into action, organising a Crowdfunding appeal on Jones‘ behalf.
Writing on www.justgiving.com, the MOJO writer, said: ‘Due to good work prospects with DJing and gigging from now into the next year Edgar will be able to maintain payments to start working off the arrears from November.
‘But sadly this will not be enough to halt the notice. He has only recently become fully functioning again after being diagnosed with diverticulitis and depression as a result of it. To lose his home will of course have a devastating effect on him and his family. We are hoping to raise £1,500 through this campaign to convince the court of his commitment and dedication to pay off these arrears.”
Jones‘ many fans responded immediately, raising almost £3,000 with Wilson later confirming that the courts had suspended the eviction order.
‘The court granted a suspension on the eviction order and funds raised here went a long way towards getting that decision,’ he said. ‘A huge thank you to everyone who donated and lent support. It really means a lot. Edgar faces a tough repayment schedule but still has his flat.’
A further update from Wilson confirmed: ‘On November 1 he’ll be handing over what we’ve raised here which will go some way to paying off his arrears. He’ll then be paying the remainder off on a monthly basis. Thanks again.’
For Jones himself, the experience has clearly been a humbling one leaving the Liverpudlian musician obviously moved.
‘Wow,’ he tweeted. ‘Not often I feel this thankful before my morn coffee. Massive thanks to those who pledged last night. Such kindness. I’m overcome.’