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Anthony Reynolds formed Jack at the age of 19 with fellow Cardiff, Wales native Matthew Scott (guitar), the two drawing on a shared love of the bleak humour of Nick Cave and the drink-raddled prose of Charles Bukowski. By March 1995 the rest of the band was in place, with Richard Adderley (guitar), Patrick Pulzer (drums), Colin Williams (bass) and George Wright (keyboards) joining up in time for their debut London gig, after which they were immediately snapped up by Too Pure Records. Their first release, the limited edition ‘Kid Stardust’, was single of the week in Melody Maker; this was followed by Pioneer Soundtracks, the bohemian ambience of which was accentuated by the work of ex-Scott Walker producer Peter Walsh and the string arrangements of seventh member, cellist Audrey Morse. The album was released at a point when the cabaret noir sound of Cave (almost parodied in ‘I Didn’t Mean It, Marie’), Walker, Jacques Brel and the Tindersticks was flavour of the month. Reynolds, however, took their black-clad moodiness to a new extreme: ‘I don’t believe in happiness, ’ he declared, ‘do you?’ He expressed the darkness more fully in Jacques, described as Jack’s ‘older, slightly eccentric brother’, a spin-off collaboration with fellow Brel-obsessive Momus that resulted in 1997’s How To Make Love Volume 1. The parent band’s vision was fully realised on 1998’s The Jazz Age, a lush romantic masterpiece that reached a sublime peak on the epic ballad ‘Nico’s Children’. Reynolds recorded two further albums with Jack/Jacques, To Stars (2000) and The End Of The Way It’s Always Been (2002), before disbanding both outfits to concentrate on solo work. He made his debut, under the Anthony moniker, with 2004’s Neu York. He has also published selections of his poetry.

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Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales

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