Kevin Jones Of Communion

Kevin Jones is one of the three founders of Communion Records.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 31 May 2012
  • min read
Kevin Jones is one of the three founders of Communion Records, alongside Ben Lovett (Mumford and Sons) and producer Ian Grimble. Initially a club night for like-minded artists and music lovers, Communion provided the creative spark that helped launch Mumford and Sons, Noah and the Whale and Laura Marling as well as Example, King Charles and Alan Pownall. From the live sessions, Communion developed a record label which seeks to develop and promote talented songwriters.

On Saturday 2 June, Communion present Bushstock – a mini festival located in a whole range of venues in Shepherds Bush, west London. Find out more and buy tickets at

Why did you start promoting gigs?
Ben and I were playing in a band called Cherbourg six or seven years ago and we didn’t feel that playing shows was much fun because we were being ripped off by promoters and we just wanted to create a place to play where we could feel part of something. It wasn’t a conscious thing but it we invited friends’ bands to play and booked artists we liked, just to avoid being stuck on a bill with bands that had no connection to what we were doing.

We called the night, at the Notting Hill Arts Centre, Communion and during the first six months we realised there we aspects of the music industry we didn’t like and we wanted to do things differently. We wanted things to develop naturally and create an atmosphere were songwriters and musicians could learn from each other  - there were a lot of really talented people around like Marcus Mumford and Laura Marling and we wanted to bring everyone together.

Is there are a certain kind of artist you look for to perform at Communion nights and how do you identify them?
We’re just trying to find people who have an artistic vision of what they are doing, taking care of the songwriting process and the lyrics. But the whole idea of Communion isn’t an exclusive one, by any means, we love meeting young bands and songwriters and giving them a chance to interact with more experienced artists. There is no specific agenda but we just look for artists who are taking their music seriously and want to take it further.

We have a really simple demo policy, which is: we listen to everything we are sent, which I don’t think many promoters or labels do anymore. This is key because if we feel there’s something about the artist and there is potential we will get in touch.

What were some of the highlight gigs from the early days and what made them so special?
The first time Laura Marling played, Noah and the Whale who played on something like our fourth night of running the club. Those gigs were special because you could feel something exciting was happening.

Why did you decide to develop Communion into a record label?
Me and Ben had started to produce records and the other founding member of Communion, Ian Grimble was already a producer and we learned a lot from him. It seemed like a logical progression – we could only reach a few hundred people at Notting Hill arts Club and given that we had a studio we could use and were all interested in making records, we just started to invite the artists we admired to make records and we just put them out.

Was there an overriding ethos behind the label?
We are ambitious but at the same time we are just following our hearts to try and do what seems like the right thing at the time. You have a conversation and someone says ‘Why don’t we try this?’, we try it and it usually works.

How does A&Ring for the record label differ from selecting live acts?
Not too much but obviously with records you have to be a bit more thorough because of the amount of time and effort you invest in the artist but we’re really looking for the same things. We’re big on lyrics and individuality and fundamentally we’re all about songwriting no matter what form it takes, that’s the bottom line.

Who are you really excited about right now?
There’s an artist called Joe Banfi who featured on our last compilation who has gone through the process that Communion, hopefully, should provide – Joe sent a demo in, we really liked it and invited him to play a show, we really liked that and invited him to do another show. Then we booked time in the studio and that was great, so now we’re doing an E.P. with him. He’s a great lyricist with a really individual voice and he’s only 21 and came out of nowhere, which is really exciting. We’re really looking forward to opening him up to a wider audience.

How did BushStock come about?
We felt that there was a really strong music scene in West London which wasn’t really being represented. There was nowhere to go for artists and musicians to hang out. However there are a lot of great venues in Shepherds Bush and we wanted to get  everyone down there, not just the artists from west London.

Who are you looking forward to seeing?
Well, obviously all of it – I’m spoilt for choice, but I am looking forward to seeing Daughter play live again as I know they have been working hard in the studio and it’ll be great to see how they have developed.