Pete Smith is a name you see a lot where we're concerned.
He's been there since the beginning, since before the beginning, as Ginny has
known him for more years than you'd think possible and Barbara for a bit of
a lifetime too. He is the reason we exist, as it is he who suggested we get
together. He has been a lyric co-writer on quite a few of our songs, being
exceedingly janes-compatible in his words, and bringing a male-ness to our
very female lyrics.
But Pete has a life outside the Janes.
He's a very fine and highly respected British painter, always pushing the line,
and two of his paintings featured in the cover artwork on our first 2 albums. He
slaves away at it in his Hackney studio, sometimes taking 16 years to finish a
painting (when is a painting finished?), always to the sound of some new
A proper music fan, Pete's often to be seen in record shops buried in bins finding
gems before fame does. He sings too. Gloriously, in a Tom Waits strangled-side-of
the-mouth kind of way. Not often in public. You'd have to go for a walk down Beck
Road on a windows-open summer's day to hear him in full throat.
You can sometimes find Pete Smith in far-away romantic chapels on hilltops in Italy
with raw fingertips, working with Turner prize nominee (a while ago!) and pal,
David Tremlett, on David's wall - and ceiling, and floor - drawings.
Singing. We suspect.