Meet Adde Jones, singer, songwriter, poet, performer and lead singer of the band Excellent Skeleton, which is two-thirds Splott!
Inksplott: Hia, thanks for the interview Adde, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Adde: I’m Adrian Jones, but better known as Adde, and I’m a songwriter, poet and performer living in Splott.
I’m mostly involved in writing and performing original music with my band, Excellent Skeleton. I play guitar and perform lead vocal. We’re quite driven to have a really good alternative garagy, grungy rock band in Cardiff and have recently released a 5 track EP on Bandcamp.
Inksplott: Tell us more about the band and the kind of music you play.
Adde: Other members of the band are Huw Davies and Gareth Davies. Huw lives in Roath, so he doesn’t count, but my drummer is Gareth Davies, and he lives in Splott so he can join! There’s just the three of us but we make such a racket that you think there’s more of us!
We’ve just finished recording a 5 track EP which has been released on Bandcamp (see link below). We’re going to get some CDs pressed and do an EP launch with some other bands in Cardiff. We’ve worked really hard and it’s an exciting time.
We also play some obscure 60s psychedelic Velvet Underground types of songs because we have a guest keyboard player, and do some of the darker elements of the Velvet Underground.
Inksplott: How did you get into playing music?
Adde: I’ve been playing guitar for about 20 years; I thought ‘of all the instruments to learn, it’s got to be guitar’ because all of my heroes are on guitar. Plus once you know how to play guitar you can write millions of songs. And my hands are too small for piano (and I haven’t got enough patience). I’d like to learn one day.
Inksplott: Where have you payed and where are you going to play?
Adde: We play a lot in the Andrew Buchan in Roath; the landlord John loves our music – we played there last Wednesday. In terms of other local places, we’ve played downstairs in the Full Moon – we’re about to play there in the spring. We played in Gwdi Hw in September as part of a Velvet Underground night. We like it there and would like to do our EP launch there. Lots of original bands want to come on board for that launch, which will be amazing.
People are giving us very nice feedback, including established musicians. Johnny Cage and the Voodoogroove, they like us!
We’re also applying to play in the festivals this summer. We have a product now that we can promote so we’re looking to play further afield. Watch this space!
Inksplott: What are your influences?
Adde: When you start writing songs your influences start coming through. The music that sticks with you deepest will be your influence. I just love loud guitar music, like Nirvana, Pixies, Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine. I’m attracted to loudness! I also like the melodic side of things like REM. I’m a massive REM fan. I’m also obsessed with Neil Young! As long as the music has lyrics you can relate to and they engage the listener.
Inksplott: Any unfulfilled ambitions?
Adde: I never play a gig without a Brian Jonestown Massacre T-Shirt on. I’m on the verge of stalking the singer; it’s hilarious! I’d love to support them if they play in Cardiff; that’s one of my ambitions.
Inksplott: How come you’re in Splott?
Adde: I moved to Cardiff about four and a half years ago. I lived in Singapore before and was part of a band called ‘Basement in my Loft’. The reason I went to Singapore? I was a Buddhist Monk for five years and set up a Buddhist Temple!
I’ve been heavily interested in Buddhism for years and when I got ordained, I was asked to set up a temple in Singapore. I didn’t know where it was and ended up living there for eleven years. The temple is still there now.
When I left went straight into writing poetry and making music.
I was born in Neath though and left when I was 18 and went to live in Leeds. I’ve lived all over the place but Cardiff very much feels like home. It has a strong community of musicians and artists.
Recently I bought a house in Splott. I have a man-cave which is basically a music studio where we do the mixing and mastering of the recordings.
I feel a strong affinity with this area, not least because there are so many friends here and so much going on. Splott is the Greenwich Village of Cardiff and Wales!
On New Years Eve we had about 40 people round and then left and went to a house nearby. None of us bothered with town; we were a massive group of creative people together. It just showed that this area is very much up and coming. We have a creative depth of people.
Inksplott: Anything else about Splott you want to share?
Adde: The main thing about Splott is that it has so much character. It’s such a mixed bag of different people from all walks of life. I represent the gentrification artistic side!!!
It’s great that we have the Four Elms just up in Adamsdown, where we coagulate, and Inkspot, which I hope will become a proper music venue. It’s important that we all keep these places going.
About Splott specifically? I enjoy the helicopter displays!
Inksplott: Thanks Adde, it’s been fun chatting!
You can find out more about Adde and Excellent Skeleton on
Find the band on Soundcloud
Listen to the new 5-track EP on Bandcamp