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Catching up with JLS ahead of their Newmarket gig

Article 16th April 2024

By The Jockey Club Live

We caught up with Aston and JB ahead of their Newmarket Nights concert this summer and chatted all things families, flutters and future hits!


Since reuniting, this is going to be your first set of summer shows. Are you looking forward to heading back out for summer rather than doing arena tours in the autumn?

JB: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's funny because even though we're going on tour, and even though it’ll probably be similar numbers of fans coming, it's actually a slightly different vibe when you're performing outdoors. It's something that over the years we've come to absolutely thoroughly enjoy. Obviously, Newmarket’s going to be the first date on the tour, so it's going to be very, very special. We are going to be doing similar stuff to what we do on the arena tour, but as I say there's something almost unknown too! You've always got the weather to chuck in there, you never know what's going to happen with that here in the UK, , but in a good way. On the Summer dates get to go to places that perhaps don't have an arena or don't have an arena that close to wherever we are going. So, it's nice to be able to go and perhaps see some of our fans that for one reason or another couldn’t get to the arena shows. It’s always special in that sense as well.

At Summer shows also as the stage time is at half eight or nine, get to see the whole crowd as it’s still daylight - you get to look at everyone and see them enjoy the set rather than being in a big dark room! Do you enjoy being able to see everyone or is it slightly daunting actually being able to see all the fans there?

Aston: No it’s definitely not dauting, it’s just exciting! There's something very special about arenas, you're all put into one place and it's great with the noise and the atmosphere, but I’m a summer guy! I love the outdoors and being outdoors in summer and - touch wood - that we do have great weather that day, and if not, then so be it but it will be a whole vibe! I think anybody that has seen a JLS show before knows that the energy is always up and I think to top it all it's just an exciting time for myself and the boys again, just back out doing music. Especially fans just reliving old times with old tours and songs and reminiscing and all these things. You just hear people now are making summer plans and instead of going on holiday they're coming to watch our show, so it's an honour and it's massive for us. We love it.

JLS have been a band for 15,16 years now and your fans are so loyal and so dedicated. How does it feel to have those fans still coming back to see you time and time again? Plus a whole new set of fans coming to see you for the first time?

JB: It's amazing, and one of the greatest things about our fan base and the people who support us is that for some reason it seems to hit every generation. So, you've got the grandparents now, you know ladies and gents maybe in their 50s or 60s, who took their kids fifteen years ago to their first concert, and those kids have grown up and got their own kids now. Perhaps this might be the first concert that they take their children to so you've got three generations of the family that might potentially come to our show. It’s a special thing. I think that's one of the things that we love about what we do, and like you said coming to somewhere like Newmarket that doesn't even have an arena nearby makes these sort of shows special. We don’t miss the significance of that, we love it. Honestly, it's so great when you can see the whole family in the audience, having a great time being able to enjoy themselves and hopefully being able to go away thinking ‘yep, I want to do that again’. Of course, it's great for us to be able to share with our families, if they can and when they can come to a show, because we’ve all got kids now and it's nice for them to be a part of that whole story as well.

Speaking of families, Aston grew up in Peterborough which is close to Newmarket. Is this show going to be a little bit of a family affair?

Aston: Yeah, most of them are coming and a lot of my friends have already said they’ve got tickets, which is great! I don’t get to perform in Peterborough much and if the show isn’t in London, then Newmarket is the next best thing for the family. It’s going to be nice for my kids to come down. Their nana and pops will be there, the cousins and aunties, and everyone. It's definitely going to be a big, big family affair for that one for sure.

Plus with Newmarket Nights, you have a fantastic six-card horse race during the evening, so rather than having a typical support act, the horse racing is your support act.

Aston: Exactly. Just a little side hustle. I mean, just a little bet before we go on!

Do you think you're going to be heading down early and having a little bit of a flutter?

Aston: As an appetiser! Just a little you know… let's see what we can get and that'll depend on the show to be fair. You’ll know if we won by the temperament of the show!

JB: We promise even if we win big we will still do the show!

Now the Summer tour is aptly titled the ‘Summer Hits’ tour, and so many of your tracks are summery anthems, with a real feel-good summer vibe. Are there any tracks in particular you know you’ll have to include in the setlist as it’s what everyone going to want to hear in the sunshine?

JB: I mean, the obvious one is ‘She Makes Me Wanna’. That has been our most exotic single to date with very much a summer vibe. I think that's going to be well received. But you're right actually, I didn't realise that most of our first singles came out in June or July, and then the second singles came a bit later in the year. So we've got quite a few summer songs and summer hits that will definitely get people in the mood to party!

On your arena run that you did the end of last year, Aston and Marvin did a back-to-back DJ set. Newmarket Nights has a fantastic heritage of welcoming some of the biggest DJs to the course, having hosted Mark Ronson, Rudimental, Chase & Status and many more over the years, with Pete Tong playing this season. Do you think you’ll be bringing back that element of the arena tour for the summer dates?

Aston: It's definitely on the cards! I think it worked so well and that was in an arena set, and as you said in terms of a summer gig at Newmarket then it just makes sense to bring the party music. You’ve got some incredible names who are going to be playing over the summer, and I think if we didn’t do it we would miss a shot there! So we might need to do pull something out of the bag and get the DJ decks out again from storage and start practicing again.

JB: All I'm going to say is that you've got the winning side of JLS here, so if we continue that winning streak, then I'm all in!

Finally, will we be hearing any new JLS music ahead of the tour?

Aston: It would be a very tight schedule to write and record something before then, probably wouldn’t work! But no, no new music in the cards as it is the hits tour, the Summer Hits Tour.

Well it could have been summer hits and future hits tour…

Aston: I mean that's a good name to be fair, but that’s blowing your own trumpet to say you’re going to have future hits!

I mean after 15 years, I think you can say that can’t you.

Aston: This is true yeah, I’ll take that. Thank you!


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