My name is Jo.
I grew up in a village in Surrey. The 6th child and 2nd daughter of Dr Calum and Mrs Alice Bartlett. Each summer we went on holiday to the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, where my father had grown up. See my Dad’s wonderful 33mm photos of those holidays, from 1969 – 1976.
Avidly reading ‘Smash Hits’, ‘The Face’ and then the ‘N.M.E.’, I was in my first band at 14. I promoted my first gig at 17. I went on to promote loads of gigs at The Buzz Club in Aldershot, which I started in 1985. I booked bands including The Stone Roses, Blur, The Manic Street Preachers, Suede, The Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, The Charlatans and lots more. Soon you’ll be able to see all the fliers, posters, live recordings and memories I’ve collected on this site.
I was always in bands while I promoted those gigs. I was part of the C-86 movement, releasing a couple of 12″s on Dan Treacy’s Dreamworld Records.
I worked in London as a press officer and plugger for independent label, Ultimate Records from 1991 – 96. Organising press trips to Japan, TV appearances, radio sessions and live reviews for lots of fantastic bands. Including this live tv appearance for Senser on ‘The Word’ – i’m in the crowd somewhere!
I’ve released records in many guises over the years on various labels. We signed to R.C.A. as It’s Jo and Danny in 2000. Danny and I had our music used for the goal round up on Match of the Day and had a Single of the Week on the Virgin Radio drive time show.
But, ultimately proving we clearly weren’t meant for the world of the majors we were dropped not long afterwards.
Luckily, this caused us to start the Green Man Festival in Wales in 2003.
We moved on from the Green Man in 2011 after booking such artists as Robert Plant, Michael Kiwanuka, The Flaming Lips, Bon Iver, Mumford and Sons, James Blake, Billy Bragg, The National, Laura Marling, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy oh and so many more. So much more. I’m writing about the Green Man bit by bit.
I had my music used by Liam Gallagher and included on the Guitar Hero computer game as The Yellow Moon Band.
I’m still making music, as part of Kodiak Island this track ‘Breathing Space’ came out in January 2020.
I’m writing everything down, the gigs, the music, the clothes in as much detail as I can: ‘Indie Through The Looking Glass’
So far completed or working on:
1984 – 87 work in progress
1992 – 2005 work in progress
In alphabetic order:
Years active: 1986 – 1988
The ‘Some Greater Love’ album is made up of recordings of Go! Service and Bluetrain, the two bands I was in who were on Dreamworld Records. Dreamworld was run by Dan Treacy from The T.V. Personalities and was part of the early indie C-86 movement. A CD was released on Palestina Records, who are based in Peru, in 2010. A vinyl version of the album with a couple of very early demos added will be released on vinyl on Berlin’s Firestation Records in 2020.
‘Some Greater Love’ Bluetrain (Firestation Records)
Including ‘Land of Gold‘ originally released as a 12″ single, on Dreamworld in 1987
Bluetrain played the Glastonbury Festival in 1987, did a gig in France, toured Scotland, supported The Pastels and The Bodines, played pubs and small venues in London and the surrounding areas loads. And relocated to California for 6 months in 1988.
In November 2018 I followed up an electronica instrumental album called ‘Eurocentric’ I had released in 2003 under the name Christine X. ‘Eurocentric’ was recorded at Bark in East London and got some nice reviews in the alternative / d.j. music press.
’….wistful, mellow, unhurried and gorgeous.’ 4 stars D.J. Magazine
’…unfathomably beautiful music.’ Careless Talk Costs Lives
Fifteen years later, I started to release more music as Christine X. Mainly instrumental. Made up from cassette recordings, cut up, put into Logic and music added. Released on IndieThroughTheLookingGlassRecords.
‘Camden’. Jason Glenister made this great video.
‘Camden’ got plays on BBC 6 Music and by Andrew Weatherall.
Christine X on
Years active: 1985 -1986
My first ever release. Go! Service 12″ ‘It Makes Me Realise’ this was recorded when I was 18 in 1985 and released in 1986. This song is included on the ‘Make More Noise! Women In Independent Music UK 1977 – 1987’ Cherry Red Records cd book compilation released in 2020.
Go! Service played regularly at Dan Treacy’s legendary Room at the Top club above The Enterprise pub in Chalk Farm, North London. We also toured Europe, supporting Dan’s band, The Television Personalities.
The song ‘Real Life’ was released as part of the 3 cd set C-86 released by Cherry Red in 2013.
Go! Service / Bluetrain on…
Years active: 1999 – 2005
‘Lank Haired Girl To Bearded Boy’
Our debut album, originally released on our own Double Snazzy label. After Jo Whiley played a track three days in a row on her daytime Radio 1 show, we signed to R.C.A. and the album got re released. I will always love everything about this record. A very happy time.
‘Spellbinding’ The Times 4 stars
‘Heartfelt vocals and swathes of Vini Reilly-style guitar.’ **** Mojo
‘Ferocious joie de verve’ **** Q
‘a carefree fusion of Ancient and modern’ Uncut
‘Spritualized fronted by Carol King’ The Face
‘Loaded with sprit’ The Observer
‘Folk to feed your soul’ i.D. Magazine
‘Beautiful’ The Daily Telegraph
‘A defining record’ NME 8/10
Including ‘Love Expression’ directed by James Le Bon
Years active: 2010 – present
My debut solo album, ‘Upheaval‘. Recorded in one afternoon at Bark Studio in East London in 2010 and released in early 2011. All one takes, no over dubs. Released on the Static Caravan label. The cover photo is of myself and a couple of my brothers, taken on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides by my Dad. I have a great fondness for this record and what it took to make.
‘9 x 7’
My second solo album, released on Strikeback Records in January 2015. ‘9 x 7’ is 9 songs recorded by 7 musicians. The strings are arranged by Mike Siddel who has previously worked with Laura Marling, Josh T. Pearson and Mumford and Sons. I played all the bass and synth parts along with some of the electric guitar plus my usual acoustic. I guess I produced it too. I worked with Brian O’Shaughnessy at Bark Studio. It was pretty hard organising all the other musicians, booking the studio and organising travel for everyone. Also, playing, singing and creating. I think I possibly spread myself a bit too thin. The cover photo was once again taken by my Dad, it’s from a family wedding in the early 1970s. For me, ‘9 x 7’ has some great moments (mainly the tracks featuring the strings) and a few that didn’t quite hit the spot…it got some nice reviews though.
‘Her second solo album leans towards her folkier side – but fills out the sound with bewitching electronic percussion and lovely guitar leads.’ The Sunday Times / Essential New Releases
‘The album we hoped Beth Gibbons might’ve made if she’d ever followed up her Rustin Man project – which is high praise indeed’ Uncut
‘Bartlett’s voice has the pitch and crystal clarity of The Sunday’s Harriet Wheeler.’ Q
‘Bartlett ploughs a narrow furrow, but she does it with compelling conviction’ Mojo
‘Fans of Nick Drake and Beth Orton should investigate’ The Daily Express
‘Her beautiful, clear as a mountain stream vocals, float deliciously over sweet instrumentation, making this a really glowing release.’ The Crack Magazine
Jo Bartlett on…
Years active: 2015 – present
My band right now. I love Kodiak Island. We get together and play music whenever we can. Not as often as I’d like to. We rehearse at my house and record in guitarist Richard‘s garage. We play locally in bars and occasionally a little further a field.
Our latest single, ‘Breathing Space’ was released in January 2020. Our second album, ‘The Amber Road’ is released in October 2020.
Kodiak Island on….
Years active: 2005 – 2010
This was my prog rock, psychedelic, instrumental adventure. We released a few vinyl singles on Static Caravan and then followed them up with this great album. This is another record I’m very proud of.
‘The spirit of classic West Coast psychedelia is alive and well and living in The Yellow Moon Band.’ **** The Independent
‘..moments of glory abound on this bright, funky outstandingly groovy album.’ **** Mojo
‘..groovy throwback prog-band….astral rocking…..Eastern flavours’ **** The Scotsman
‘A beautifully, bewitching listen.’ N.M.E.
‘1970s cosmic metal riffs……..delirious guitars.’ Metro
‘I’m looking forward to seeing this record at the top of writer’s End of the Year lists.’ Shindig!
With over 100,000 views, I guess my biggest ‘hit’ is ‘Chimney’ by The Yellow Moon Band, which is included on the Ubisoft computer game, Rocksmith.
Here’s ‘Barhed‘. Video directed by Ewan Jones Morris
Copies of ‘Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World’ are now selling on eBay for £100.
We released these all on Static Caravan.
Green Vinyl 12: Polaris Richard Norris Remix.
Maybach (7″ single)
Entangled (7″ single)
We also had tracks featured on ‘A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble‘ compilation album along with Miles Davis, Can, Pentangle, Hawkwind and Donovan.
and Fred Deakin (Lemon Jelly) ‘Nu Balearica‘ compilation.
The Yellow Moon Band on….