Coventry was a miserable place back then, with little prospect of gainful employment at home Joe Wilkes descended on the London music scene with not a lot to lose. Unemployed and left to his own devices Wilkes enrolled on jazz piano classes, at Goldsmiths College and went on busking expeditions to continental Europe.


His anarcho-acoustic band had a residency at Soho’s 12 bar club that after a time became alcohol fueled free-form rehearsals with an often confused paying audience. Joe eventually jumped ship to Paris to get away from it all where he started work with Antoine Reininger who he would later work on 3 albums with.


Back in his adopted Southeast London Wilkes recorded his debut album Spotlight (2006). The next year was spent building up a following and reputation as a writer of snappy modern folk songs coupled with a singularly individual guitar tone and intense finger-picking.


Here On This Frontline (2009) saw Wilkes fine-tune a politically conscious European folk identity. This time round France and Spain were included on the tour itinerary.


Looking For The Grave of Garcia Lorca, (2012) was one of the last records to be recorded in Escapade music studio, a hang out for the great and the good of Southeast London’s music scene. Joe worked there on and off as musician and engineer. If the previous two records hadn’t already then this album set Wilkes apart from the rest of the acoustic scene stealing lines from Victor Hugo, eulogising Lorca and not delivering a standard museum piece.


2013 saw Joe suffer an injury to his left hand. Unable to play guitar, Wilkes started using piano on stage and in the studio. With a recovering finger Joe did a few shows in New York in 2014 using piano for the first time as well as guitar. A tour of Europe followed in the autumn.


2017 sees the release of We Believe In Nothing a collection of mainly piano songs, suicide love ballads and dark political forebodings. Euro and UK dates to follow...