Like a good tradesman, Mancunian Jon Brooks got his alter ego, the King of Woolworths, out to the people by peddling it himself.
Whether it was simply name checking his music on message boards, making it available to download on music sites or sending CDRs out to his wish list of celebrity fans, he took to the spirit of his stage name like Del Boy sniffing out hooky car stereos down the Nags Head.
That was just a year ago. Now he has a record deal, three singles under his belt and an album imminent, not to mention a list of fans as long as Man City’s transfer list. His big break came when Mary Ann Hobbs picked up on his stuff off the internet, championed him on her Breezeblock show on Radio 1 and catapulted him in to mini-stardom. She even gave him his own DJ mix slot on her show, an honour usually only bestowed on dance music’s elite.
Given all this, ‘Ming Star’ is now in sight - the baby he’s been hard at work on is finally about to be unleashed but it might just be not what you’re expecting.
A cinematic feel runs throughout with the King trying to recapture his childhood in audio form (for example, tracks like ‘The Watchmakers Hands’ and ‘Theydon’ hark back to the days when he watched TV programmes like the old Friday Film Specials). Other inspirations do creep in like French films of the 60’s, London (‘Kentish Town’, ‘Bakerloo’ and ‘Kite Hill’) and Hammer Horror with ‘Stalker Song’ appearing in its full technicolor glory. The plan with this album was to mix up the styles without making it an incoherent listen. Well, he’s done that alright.
This album is very special indeed, it’s both autobiographical and earnestly honest. ‘Ming Star’ is also as close as you and I will probably get to seeing the world through the eyes of the King.