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just the dust

Member sinceNovember 25, 2006
LocationUnited Kingdom
MembersJenny carter, Pete Cooke, Pete Kenny, Dave Ross, Graham Summers
InfluencesTom Waits having a drink with Nick Drake
Artist Biography:

Just the dust were formed in 1992 based on the long standing musical partnership of Pete Cooke and Pete Kenny.

Thy both come from the same small Northamptonshire town and met in 1974 when Sundays were long, Wizzard played at the Granada Cinema and the world was still young.

There was also something called the Labour Party in government which shortly afterwards paid them to go to University on something called a full grant, given to working class youngsters like them.

Pete Cooke’s parents kept an open house, which meant it was permanently full of young people listening to music, falling asleep, arguing, eating piles of toast, playing music, making tea, smoking etc.

They weren’t just tolerant - they were saints.

Pete C’s dad did once ask Pete K when he was going to start paying rent but otherwise could not have been cooler.

They both went to Leicester University. Pete C was taken by prog rock, jazz and classical music and Pete K by singer songwriters, punk and dark disquiet.
In 1981 after several bands each they started to write songs together in the hope of becoming very rich and famous: “a Mini Moog” said Pete C, “sex with strangers” said Pete K.

They managed an interview with A&M on the strength of their demos but no mega deal and therefore no serious hedonistic troughing - probably all for the best.

They met every Sunday and wrote songs together, recording them first on a battered reel to reel and later on a Tascam Portastudio. Some songs were great, some middling and some just awful – whatever, fame and fortune was not to be theirs.
They did however carry on writing and playing together and learning to record and arrange things. They also decided to put a band together.

The early band

The first just the dust was the two Petes plus Jane Foxworthy on bass and Kate Easton and Anne Smith on harmonies. Kate also played viola and percussion. This was the line up for the first two albums, released on cassette.

They had strong songs, carefully arranged with powerful harmony vocals.

Other people liked it too and the band got good reviews, more gigs and a bit of a following. See their website for some downloads, lyrics etc from this period.

Pete Morton covered 5 of the band’s songs for his 1995 CD “Courage, love and grace”, including the title track.

However nothing lasts and Ann left the band before their 3rd album “Jack of Tears” and Jane shortly afterwards.

For a time it seemed as if the band was over.
The later band

Then Dave Ross, an old friend of the Petes, and a great musician, offered to play bass and the dust rose again. This version of the band played more intricate, considered music and the jazz and ambient overtones became stronger.

The 2 Petes had also bought a load of recording equipment and both “Jack of Tears” and their 4th album and first CD “Stronger” were both self produced and recorded.

After “Stronger” Kate Easton left for other musical projects, including her own CD – see her myspace page. She’s remained willing to help out with harmonies and you can hear her on the new just the dust CD “Rattle of Stones”

After Kate left the band became a looser grouping with recording at the heart of it. Songs have been approached with affectionate violence and many different versions have surfaced – some to be quickly pushed back under!

Other band members have brought a lot to the process – Dave Ross can hear the songs within the song and how to make them show. Graham Summers and Jenny Carter have brought a heavier sound (the first just the dust album with a full drum kit) wiry, spiky, spooky violin and sweet whistles and true patience at the glacial pace of the process.

As well as Kate Easton, the CD is also graced by vocals from Chris Conway, Dinah Scott, Chloe Plumb and Hattie ???.

For the future there are more songs to record and maybe old ones to remaster for CD reissue.

“We’ll play live more” says Pete C

“We’ll always make music” says Pete K.

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