Chris Jones

Freelance writer

Location icon Ireland

I am a music obsessive, writer, broadcaster and DJ. Formerly the editor of Alternative Ulster magazine, I have written for the Belfast Telegraph, Irish Times, NME, Buzzfeed, Vice, Hot Press, the Daily Mirror, Irish Post, HMV Ireland, Culture Northern Ireland and more. I also DJ at Belfast bar The Woodworkers and I'm a regular on-air contributor to BBC Radio Ulster’s Across the Line and Wandsworth Radio's The Irish Jam.

Email - cmjones83 [at]

AA Blog
What are my rights when my flight goes wrong? - AA Blog

As an airline passenger, you are covered by EU law if your flight is cancelled or delayed, or if you are not permitted to board the plane after you've checked in. You may be entitled to re-routing, refunds and, in some cases, compensation.

Kieran Behan: The Power Within - Electric Ireland

For Kieran Behan, the fact that he is able to look forward to his second Olympic Games is little short of miraculous. Born in London to a father from Dublin and a mother from Monaghan, the gymnast who has partnered with Team Ireland sponsor, Electric Ireland is an athlete who will carry the nation's hopes in Rio.

AA Blog
A very New York Christmas! - AA Blog

From Miracle on 34th Street to Home Alone 2: Lost In New York and Elf, there's always been something iconic about Christmas in New York. The city's sheer scale, glitz and glamour make for an unforgettable short break at the best of times - but when Christmas is around the corner, it's just magical.

AA Blog
Electric Vehicles - should I buy one? - AA Blog

While hybrid vehicles - which have both a battery and a petrol or diesel engine - have been with us for a number of years, fully electric vehicles are still in their relative infancy.

Fiona Doyle: The Power Within - Electric Ireland

In 2004, a 12-year-old Fiona Doyle was watching the Athens Games at home in Limerick when she made a decision - one day, she was going to be an Olympic swimmer for Team Ireland. It's taken 12 years, two near misses, a move halfway across the world and a lot of sacrifices but this summer in Rio, she will finally realise her dream.

Daily Mirror Ireland
Villagers interview (1/2)

Conor O'Brien's Irish tour next week comes at a particularly poignant time, the shows arranged immediately before and after the Marriage Equality referendum, at the end of a long and at times gruelling campaign...

The Irish Times
Mount Kimbie: Love What Survives - London Duo have fun in the studio

Once the archetypal post-dubstep outfit, Mount Kimbie have long since moved on, and they continue to plough a singular furrow on their third full-length album. Like its predecessor, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, the London duo twist their arsenal of synths, bass and drums into colourful, inventive shapes.

AA Blog
Fuel efficient driving - 10 top tips - AA Blog

There are lots of things you can do as a driver to reduce your fuel consumption - and lighten the load on your wallet! Accelerate gently The harder you accelerate, the more fuel you use. Use your right foot lightly to move off and get up to speed, and you'll make savings.

The Irish Times
Xeno & Oaklander: Topiary album review

Album: Topiary Artist: Xeno & Oaklander Label: Ghostly Internationa Genre: Electronic Minimal synth duo Xeno & Oaklander have been casting their moody spell for a decade, but their fourth album continues their very gradual journey from darkness to light.

Belfast Telegraph
Johnny Marr: 'Popular songs from The Smiths belong to everybody'

Speaking to a veteran rock star about an upcoming gig in Belfast, you get used to hearing the same old platitudes - wonderful crowds, great craic, rinse and repeat. But Manchester-born Johnny Marr is more thoughtful than most.

How Dublin Became a Hotspot for Hard Hitting Techno

Irish lads Sunil Sharpe and DeFeKT are killing it right now. Whether individually or in their fearsomely intense collaborative project Tinfoil (whose third EP has just been released), the Dublin-based DJ-producers are at the forefront of a booming Irish techno scene that also features leading lights like Lakker, Kenny Hanlon, TR-One and Automatic Tasty -all of whom will be joining them on the bill at Bloc Weekend in March.

Belfast Telegraph
Annie Nightingale: 'BBC Radio 1 bosses said openly there were to be no women DJs'

It says something about the fiercely independent spirit of radio presenter Annie Nightingale, who visits Belfast in March to speak and DJ at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, that when you ask her about her favourite people and memories of Belfast, she ignores the biggest names - Van Morrison, Snow Patrol, even local punk bands like Stiff Little Fingers, whom she knew and interviewed in the late Seventies - and instead focuses on the heroes of acid house, the dance music revolution that came along...

Belfast Telegraph
The Chemical Brothers' Tom Rowlands: 'Belfast's got a good musical appreciation so it's exciting...

Even from the sofa, The Chemical Brothers' set at last summer's Glastonbury Festival was a scintillating experience. More than 20 years into their career, the Manchester-forged dance duo can choose from a formidable arsenal of hits - Hey Boy, Hey Girl, Galvanize and Block Rockin' Beats to name just three - while their psychedelic visual and light show is utterly peerless.

Culture Northern Ireland
Two Door Cinema Club review

There's no sign of new songs, but under the tongue-in-cheek guise of a tribute act the Bangor boys make a long-awaited reconnection with their roots...

'Dumb Flesh' and Dancing, a Conversation With Blanck Mass

A couple of days after the final night of his debut, three-week North American tour Benjamin John Power, aka Blanck Mass, is in upbeat mood. Hopping in and out of an Uber as we speak on the phone, he's in LA and enjoying some downtime with his mate The Haxan Cloak, who lives there...

Irish Post
17 old photos of Belfast...

In a little over a year, the Old Belfast Photographs page on Facebook has become a viral hit, racking up over 25,000 followers from all over Ireland, America, Australia, Europe, and Russia...

Irish Times
Santigold - 99¢

Over the past eight years, Santi White has pulled off the admirable trick of becoming very popular indeed (350,000 Facebook followers, thank you very much) while staying under the radar of the mainstream. Good singles, no real hits...

Culture NI
Interview: Guerrilla Shout

Not just for techno heads, the Belfast firm is lighting up Ireland's leading festivals and stimulating the senses of top brands across the globe Over the last five years, the name of DSNT will have become familiar to fans of fierce underground techno in Northern Ireland and beyond...

Daily Mirror Ireland
Wheatus interview

Q&A with frontman Brendan B Brown.

Irish Times
Floating Points: Elaenia

Sam Shepherd is best known for immaculately produced, oceans-deep house music, DJ sets that run the gamut from soul, disco and Latin rarities to slamming house tracks and - most recently - his close relationship with both Four Tet and Caribou...

Irish Times
jennylee - right on!

Jenny Lee Lindberg has long been the best-known member of Warpaint - she's the subject of adoring 'fuckyeahjennyleelindberg' Tumblr pages and idolised by indie boys such as Birmingham band Swim Deep, who once sang, "I wanna pretend Jenny Lee Lindberg is my girlfriend".

Sunday Life
Michael Palin interview

At 72, Michael Palin shows little sign of slowing down, even if in recent years he has begun to look backwards as well as forwards...

Culture NI
U2 live review

For all their waning studio powers, Bono and his merry band still hit the mark on a politically poignant return to Belfast...

Belfast Telegraph
We catch up with Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder

With just 15 minutes allotted to speak to Shaun Ryder, it's hard to know what to expect. What kind of mood will he be in? Will we get a word in edgeways? Will he even be lucid?

Irish Post
Le Galaxie interview (1/2)

It's an age-old conundrum: the Irish acts that are household names or cult favourites at home, packing out the big venues and rubbing shoulders with global stars at the festivals – but when they cross the Irish Sea, it's a different story altogether...

Irish Times
Deerhunter: Fading Frontier

Bradford Cox & co made the first misstep of a heretofore stellar career with 2013's Monomania, a claustrophobic garage rock romp that rather missed the point of Deerhunter: with this band the dreamier, the better...

Culture NI
Requiem For A Scene

Following the end of Radar, former AU Magazine editor Chris Jones raises a final toast to a golden age for local music...

Belfast Telegraph
Therapy frontman Andy Cairns on the highs and lows of the band's time at the top

Twenty-five years ago, three disillusioned, disaffected young men from Ballyclare and Larne formed a band and started a ripple that before long would become a tidal wave. For a time during the mid-1990s, Therapy? were feted as the next Nirvana, rubbing shoulders with Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at festivals and in TV studios all over the world as their album Troublegum gatecrashed the top five of the UK album charts.

Belfast Telegraph
Clown under: Comedian Jimeoin on making it big in Australia

A household name on both sides of the world, Jimeoin's career has been more circuitous than most. The comedian (49), born James Eoin Stephen Paul McKeown, lives with wife Catherine and their four children in Melbourne, Australia, but we catch him on one of his regular trips home to see his family in Portstewart.

Belfast Telegraph
Bastille turned into a bunch of screaming fangirls

From scratching a living to headlining summer festivals, Belfast-bound rockers Bastille still can't quite believe how far they've come in such a short time, they tell Chris Jones.

Irish Times
The Libertines: Anthems for Doomed Youth

So here we are. Eleven years after their last album, The Libertines return with 12 songs recorded in Thailand following Pete Doherty's latest period of rehab....

Top 5... Van Morrison songs

Van Morrison has been a star since the early 60s, when Them provided a Belfast counterpoint to the young rhythm and blues bands pouring out of cities in England. Over the last 50 years he has put his poetic mind and unique voice to pop, rock, soul, blues, jazz and trad, and recently he has returned to performing live regularly too.

Dusting Off... Ash's back catalogue

As Ash prepare to release their sixth full-length album Kablammo! This week, we thought we'd run through the Northern Irish band's back catalogue so far. 6. Twilight Of The Innocents (2007) 5. Trailer (1994) 4. Nu-Clear Sounds (1998) When even the singles don't really hit the mark on an Ash album, you know there's something wrong.

The Irish Times
FFS: FFS | Album Review

You would think that calling a song from your own collaborative album Collaborations Don't Work provides ample opportunity for looking foolish, but for FFS their chutzpah is justified. The name stands for Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, and the combination results in a largely successful third way between two bands at different stages of their careers.

Irish Times
Diagrams: Chromatics

Diagrams is an apt name for an artist who creates such pristine, precise pop music. Sam Genders used to be a member of Tunng, and while some of their psychedelic, bucolic folk sound permeates his second album as Diagrams, it has more in common with Super Furry Animals, whose influence is daubed all over Chromatics...

Irish Times
Pearson Sound: Pearson Sound

As far back as 2008, David Kennedy (as Ramadanman) was a leading light in the second wave of dubstep as it mutated towards house and techno...

Belsonic 2015 - What You Need To Know

That time is upon us again, when Belfast city centre spends two weeks playing host to some of the biggest stars in music. It all kicks off this weekend with the crossover stars of drum and bass, Rudimental, being joined by house hero Duke Dumont.

Irish Times
The Knife: Shaken Up Versions

The Knife's final album, Shaking the Habitual, felt like an important artistic statement, but it wasn't always a great deal of fun to wade through its full 90-minute length...

Irish Times
Blanck Mass: Dumb Flesh

Fans of Fuck Buttons, rejoice - we now have two acts for the price of one. The second album by Blanck Mass (aka Benjamin Power of FB) largely supplants the hazy synth wash of its predecessor with a supercharged sound that has much in common with his main band...

My Record Collection by Ryan Vail

As he prepares to debut his new set of solo piano material in Belfast this Saturday (details here), Derry musician Ryan Vail talks Chris Jones through his highlights from more than 15 years of collecting vinyl. The first record I ever bought with my own money was...

My Record Collection by Alana Henderson

In the newest instalment of My Record Collection we talked to Northern Irish musician Alana Henderson, a solo artist and cellist/backing vocalist with Hozier. We caught up with her while she was preparing for a gig in Rochester, Michigan and asked her to bring us on a guided tour of her life as a music fan.

The Irish Times
Grimm Grimm: Hazy Eyes Maybe | Album review

Koichi Yamanoha used to be the frontman of Japanese psych-punks Screaming Tea Party. He's turned down the volume, but the psychedelic strangeness remains.

Gigantic Club blog
Deep Cuts: R.E.M.

R.E.M. have never been my absolute favourite band, but for almost as long as I can remember they have just been there, a constant in my life...

Belfast Telegraph
Q&A: And So I Watch You From Afar

Rock band, And So I Watch You From Afar (Rory Friers, guitar, Johnny Adger, bass, Niall Kennedy, guitar, Chris Wee, drums), recently released their fourth album...

Top 5... Northern Irish Albums of the Past Decade

There's been a glut of brilliant releases from Northern Ireland over the years but what are the best of the last ten years? investigates... As per usual, click on the titles below and we'll whisk you over to our online store in no time at all.

"For want of a better word, she's incredibly nerdy" - Arborist talks to about Kim Deal...

If you want to hear the best Northern Irish single of 2015 so far, look no further than Twisted Arrow by Arborist, aka Mark McCambridge. It's the latest in a string of high quality, country-tinged and deeply atmospheric songs by the Ballymena songwriter, and this one has caused much more of a stir than most, as it is a duet with Kim Deal - yes, that Kim Deal, from the Pixies and The Breeders.

Belfast Telegraph
Kelly's heroes: Stereophonics bassist Richard Jones

Richard Jones sounds sleepy. It's well into the afternoon when I phone the Stereophonics bassist, but his voice barely rises above a deliciously accented whisper throughout much of our half-hour chat. However, when he talks about the band's imminent return to Belfast to headline Belsonic for the second time, a mischievous grin is audible down the line.

Belfast Telegraph
Editors: 'It doesn't feel like the same band anymore'

You may not think that rock stars and early mornings go well together, but after more than a decade in the business and with two small children to contend with, Editors drummer Ed Lay is unfazed by a 9am phone call.

"As long as the people who follow me and support me like it, that's cool." - SOAK tells

After several years of being the 'next big thing' of Irish music, Derry teenager Soak (aka Bridie Monds-Watson) finally released her debut album 'Because We Forgot How To Dream' last week. Chris Jones grabbed 20 minutes with her before the first show of her current four-date Irish tour to talk chart success, album reviews and her views on the recent marriage referendum...

Belfast Telegraph
Dr Alan Duffy: Why this Ballyclare boffin has stars in his eyes

In March this year, Ballyclare-raised astronomer Dr Alan Duffy found himself in Parliament House in Canberra, describing his work on dark matter and the origins of the universe to Australian prime minister Tony Abbott and lobbying for more government support and funding for science.

Belfast Telegraph
Victory lap for O'Brien as his journey has a happy ending

These are emotional times for Conor O'Brien. Fresh from releasing his most personal album yet, dealing with love, loss and homophobia, and having spent the last few months as an avid campaigner for marriage equality, the Dublin songwriter has laid himself bare.

Top 5... Drummers From Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has produced a cavalcade of great musicians over the decades but who are the best sticksman? HMV's Chris Jones looks at some of NI's best ever drummers...

Breaking down the Northern Ireland Music Prize shortlist

This week the shortlist was announced for the third annual edition of the Northern Ireland Music Prize. It's essentially the Northern Irish equivalent of the Mercury Prize, and other national awards that aim to prioritise artistic merit over commercial concerns, like Choice (Ireland), Polaris (Canada) and SAYA (Scotland).

My Record Collection by Ciaran Lavery

In the newest installment of My Record Collection we talked to Northern Irish musician Ciaran Lavery and asked him to bring us on a guided journey of his personal music collection. This is what we discovered... For information on Ciaran Lavery's upcoming Irish tour, click here .

Belfast Telegraph
Malojian: 'Mention of the Troubles puts off radio producers'

The Malojian story so far is one of slow-burning success. The Lurgan singer-songwriter, real name Stevie Scullion, first came to the attention of local music fans with his band Cat Malojian before taking the second part of the name and breaking out on his own with debut album The Deer's Cry in 2012.

Popular Magazine
Soak: this is our youth

At just 18 years old, Irish singer-songwriter SOAK already has the kind of career that music veterans dream of...

Album Review: Malojian - 'Southlands'

Lurgan's Stevie Scullion is not a new name on the Northern Irish singer-songwriter scene but, like his Kilrea counterpart Robyn G Shiels, he is beginning to reap the rewards of his efforts. Southlands is his second album under the Malojian name - he used to be in the duo Cat Malojian before breaking out on his own - and it represents a confident stride forward.

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