With thanks to Martin Maw
Liverpool musician and artist Josie Jones has died.
Noted for her work in Big Hard Excellent Fish, the news of her death was revealed on Twitter by her former partner and close friend Pete Wylie.
Jones was a huge campaigner for Hillsborough, as well as Liverpool’s arts scene and was famous for her unforgettable spoken word performance on Imperfect List.
The 1989 track came about after dancer Michael Clarke approached Josie and photographer Jake Walters to produce a piece of music for work that he had lined up with Leeds-based dance group Phoenix Dance Company.
Pete Wylie, Josie’s then boyfriend, helped work on the track and from it came the eerie, candid outlook of late 1980’s Britain, with Josie reading aloud a list of political and social struggles. The track was re-recorded by Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins and released as a single in 1990, then remixed by Andrew Weatherall.
The track was also used by Morrissey as an opener and appears on a video for his live performance of Who Put the M in Manchester?. He still occasionally airs the track to this day.
In 2013 the track was re-recorded and updated by Josie, with help from writer and musician Ian C. The new version poignantly contained some lines from the original list, with a selection of modern day quandaries added to Josie’s litany, including the topical “Jeremy ‘Wanker’ Clarkson”, as well as political nods to “Dodgy Dave” and “goal-hanging Nick”.
The video for the track is a chilling visual accompaniment to the singles powerful message, and was produced by Josie herself, her most recent public release.
Margi Clarke, on her Facebook page, posted: “I’m heart broken to hear of the passing of our beautiful friend Josie Jones. Watch her mesmerising performance with the ‘Mighty Wah’. Until we meet again Girl.”
Tributes and condolences continue to pour in on social media as word spreads.