The Voluntary Butler Scheme
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The Voluntary Butler Scheme is, to all intents and purposes, Rob Jones – a young man holed up in Stourbridge just outside Birmingham, writing pop songs of classic sound, vivid imagination and homemade ingenuity.Read More...
A couple of years ago, Rob filled the days surfing drum stools, playing for a string of bands and relishing the low-expectations life of a jobbing musician. But then, the offer of a solo gig came up. "So I wrote four or five songs, and played the show," he explains. And? "And it wasn't all that," he laughs. "But straight away, I knew I didn't want to play stuff with bands anymore. So I thought I'd try a little bit harder and write some proper songs - and I wrote a dozen songs in a couple of weeks."
And the songs were good. Great, in fact. Take 'Trading Things In'. A lush '60s pop frolic rich with overlapping harmonies, dewy-eyed romance, and references to – amongst other things – broccoli, running shoes, and popular hits of the '50s, it's an excellent advert for the merits of singing what you know. "It's got a lyric that goes "yes we can listen to La Bamba on your mp3 player'" says Rob. "Cos 'La Bamba', that's one of my favourite songs of all time. I don't even know what the guy's singing about, but you know, it really doesn't matter. The way he sings it – it just breaks your heart. And I remember thinking, oh, I can probably just talk about whatever I've been up to that day and it'll work."
So, with such casual ambitions – plus a treasure chest of guitars, keyboards, kick drum and loop pedals – the first incarnation of The Voluntary Butler Scheme was born. Tours with the likes of The Duke Special and Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong saw Rob hone his craft as a one-man band – a line-up that suits him just fine, thank you very much. But as of late 2008, The Voluntary Butler Scheme is touring filled out to a three-piece – hello, Damo on drums; hi John, on keys - to cater for a new clutch of songs that need more than one pair of hands.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- Trading Things In - 24,549 plays
- The Eiffel Tower & The BT Tower - 8,331 plays
- Tabasco Sole - 10,394 plays
- Multiplayer - 11,220 plays
- Laundry - 5,329 plays
- Turn Country Lanes Into Motorways - 3,984 plays
- Hot Air Balloon Heart - 4,167 plays
- Alarm Clock - 5,090 plays
- Split - 3,769 plays
- I've Seen You Send A Better Heartbreak Letter - 1,981 plays