Once a music obsessed teenager, Jack Steadman initially saw himself more as a jazz bassist than the frontman of a world famous, guitar-centred indie band. In contemplating his next step after Bombay, Steadman hopped a aboard a cargo ship in Shanghai bound for Prince Rupert on the west coast of Canada. The ships crew had no idea who he was, but they welcomed his presence as a change from their normal routine and enjoyed invading the studio he set up in his cabin. In between all the daydreaming and occasional music making, Steadman also read the copy of Joseph Conrads novella Typhoon hed packed into his suitcase. Thats where the idea of his new musical persona, Mr Jukes, came from. A tale of the sea, Typhoon tells the story of Captain MacWhirr, who deliberately sails his vessel, the s/s Nan-Shan, into the teeth of a fierce storm. The young Jukes is first mate.
Back home in London, the new-born Mr Jukes rented himself a studio and went there every day for two years. Listening to a wide variety of music in search of inspirational samples, he began to build a store of new material towards a debut solo album. The demos, he noticed, would often start out in similar fashion to those hed previously prepared for the band, but it was where they went afterwards that was different. This time there was no requirement to make his ideas fit a band template. And he also started to consider which new guest voices might help take these songs to their ultimate artistic conclusion.
'God First' both revives his long-standing interest in jazz, soul and funk and sees Jack take on the roles of artist, composer, producer and sample-hound. It surprises and delights in equal measure: quite unlike anything Jack has done before, and also feature?s? the likes of ?BJ The Chicago Kid, ?De La Soul, Lianne La Havas, Horace Andy and Lalah Hathaway.