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Byron Shire
May 24, 2024

Interview with Jon Stevens

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Jon Stevens, playing at Bluesfest

Question: what could be more awesome than Jon Stevens touring the Noiseworks and INXS collection? 

Answer: Jon Stevens bringing the Noiseworks and INXS collection to Bluesfest 2023.

An assault of the musical senses, this show is nothing but relentless hits – a visceral charge of emotion that will transport you all the way back to last century – Seven spoke to Jon Stevens from his Melbourne home last week.

Stevens played Bluesfest for the first time in 2022. ‘It was the back end of the Noiseworks and INXS tour. We were just playing the hits from both those bands and honestly, I didn’t really expect much of a crowd – but it was crazy. It was phenomenal. It went nuts!’

Stevens says it was overwhelming. ‘Every single we played, everyone knew them, so it was pretty wild to get that love.’

In August Noiseworks released Heart & Soul, the first new single for 30 years from an album due for release in October, and Jon is very excited about bringing new music to Tyagarah.

The sad loss of Stuart Fraser

Stevens said Noiseworks started the album a few years ago – it was supposed to come out in 2019 but with the sad loss of original member, guitarist Stuart Fraser, and then COVID, it has been delayed. ‘I’d just came off the back of doing 80 something shows – I spoke to the boys and said, “Listen, we need to get this record out. It’s no good sitting on the shelf.” The album’s great; it has some great songs on it. Stewart’s playing is amazing. He’s on all the tracks and we need to honour our brother.’ 

Stevens says it’s really exciting. ‘For a band whose original members haven’t played together for 30 years – it’s a long time. Jack Jones (Southern Sons) has joined us on guitar, we’re so excited about Jack coming on board.’

People want to hear the hits

But it won’t all be new songs at his Bluesfest show. ‘People want to hear the hits again. Obviously, I’m gonna give them a show they won’t forget. I’m a great believer in giving the people what they want.’

Jon has a warning for punters though. ‘I had a double heart bypass surgery 13 years ago and now I’m an ambassador for the National Heart Foundation. I did this whole campaign for them a few weeks ago, telling everyone to go and get checked. I thought I better go and get checked myself, so last week I did and I ended up in the in the operating theatre, getting a stent put in my heart. Go and get checked!’

Back to Blues, Stevens says he’s bringing the same band he’s travelled with for a while. ‘They’re unbelievable. They can play anything. We can play anything on a minute’s notice. They’ve been with me for years. I love them dearly.’

For more information about Jon Stevens and his Bluesfest set, visit: bluesfest.com.au.

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