Words with Friends: Howard Jones, Midge Ure share ‘Dialogue’

Howard Jones will release his next album, “Dialogue,” later this year. (Simon Fowler/Submitted).

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Howard Jones didn’t let the pandemic get him down too much. He used the remedy of music to get him through it.

The result is a new studio album, “Dialogue,” which is set for release later this summer.

“I’m not giving anybody any respite at all with these tracks,” Jones says.

“They’re just very full of energy. I guess it was all that pent-up energy of the lockdown.”

“Dialogue” is the third album in a trilogy of electronic releases from Jones, including 2015’s multimedia project “Engage” and the 2019 studio album “Transform.”

“I wrote all the music during that time,” he says about the pandemic quarantine.

“I deliberately held off working on the lyrics because I didn’t think I was in the right frame of mind. I love to write uplifting lyrics and positive songs. I waited until things looked like they were turning a corner and getting better. I think it paid off.”

In support of the new album, Jones is hitting the road with longtime friend, alt-rock musician Midge Ure. Onstage, Jones will be joined by a four-piece band — guitarist Robin Boult, bassist/chapman stick Nick Beggs, keyboardist Robbie Bronnimann and keyboardist/drum pads Dan Burton.

“The Dialogue Tour” comes to The Venue at Farnsworth Hall on Sunday, June 26. Jones will perform three new songs live.

“I have to be realistic,” he says. “I’d like to play all of them, but I can’t really lay a whole eight new tracks on people. There’s not enough time in the evening to do it.”

After all, he has to leave time for Ure, a longtime friend.

“I don’t have many close friends in the music business,” Jones says. “So, for me, it’s quite rare. He lives quite close to me. He’s about an hour away in Bath. I’ve known him since the ’80s, but we do meet up a lot.

“He’s been to the house, and we hang out. I really, really like Midge. I think he’s a wonderful man. I am so pleased that I persuaded him to come out with me.”

Howard Jones enjoys putting new clothes on his hits when he plays live. He’s set to play The Venue at Farnsworth Hall in Mesa with Midge Ure on Sunday, June 26. (Martin Shaw/Submitted)

Acts like Jones — and most recently Kate Bush — have seen a career revival, thanks to “Stranger Things” and “Breaking Bad.” Jones is thankful for “Stranger Things’” use of his song “Things Can Only Get Better.”

“I’m so proud of that,” he says. “When they asked me about ‘Stranger Things,’ I said, ‘Of course.’ I love the show so much. I know that it appeals to all ages. I would die to have a track in that, and they gave it really good play. It’s on the ‘Stranger Things’ playlist, and it gets loads of plays. I’m being introduced to a new audience through that, and it’s so exciting.”

He has witnessed a change in his fanbase, especially in overseas festivals.

“There are young people turning up, and sometimes they’re with their family,” Jones says. “When we do our shows, we don’t play the songs exactly as they were on the radio. We’re always trying to update them and give them a more contemporary twist.

“That’s what I like to do. Being an electronic musician, it’s easy to give the old songs new clothing.”

“The Dialogue Tour” with Howard Jones and Midge Ure

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 26

WHERE: The Venue at Farnsworth Hall, 6159 E. University Drive, Mesa

COST: Tickets start at $27

INFO: fhtheater.com