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Aled goes back to his roots and pays visit to cathedral
WHEN asked which cathedrals he would most like to visit as part of his forthcoming UK tour, Salisbury was at the top of singer Aled Jones’ list.
“The tour is primarily in cathedrals,”
he says, “and it doesn’t get better than Salisbury.
“It wasn’t down to me where we were going but they asked where I would really like to be included and I said Durham and Salisbury.”
Once – and probably still – the most famous boy chorister in the UK, and now a familiar face as the presenter of the BBC’s Songs of Praise, Jones has been to the city many times in the past, but for him the magic never dims.
“Salisbury is a very special place and it is a privilege to sing in the cathedral,”
Jones, 42, has been a household name for 25 years, with six million album sales under his belt and a spot as an anchor on ITV’s Daybreak show opposite Lorraine Kelly, as well as other TV and radio presenting duties.
The tour in April and May will see him travel the country, and he has chosen songs reflecting his surroundings, including some favourites.
“I might get lynched if I didn’t do How Great Thou Art,” he jokes.
“This tour is special because it gives me the opportunity to go back to the songs I did on my first couple of albums as an adult and those I did as a boy,” he adds. “It is very much going back to my roots.”
Jones was born in Bangor, Wales and joined the city’s cathedral as a choirboy when he was nine.
His clear treble voice caught the attention of a local record company and in 1985 his cover version of Walking in the Air from the 1982 film The Snowman propelled him to nationwide fame.
Since then music has remained at the centre of his life and he says he never tires of either the songs he is known for singing or those from a wide range of other musical genres.
“I love all kinds of music. A good song is a good song, whether it is a pop song or a hymn.”
On this tour, however, he plans to stick to more traditional songs.
“This is the music I have been singing since I was nine years old, and it is a part of my soul.
“I don’t think anyone would want me to launch into ACDC’s greatest hits!”
The tour will see him joined at selected venues by guests Mary-Jess Leaverland, Isabel Suckling and Celeste, with local choirs performing in their home cities.
In Salisbury he will be joined by the cathedral’s junior choir and the Cherubini Choir from the Cathedral School; and Jones says he is glad of the chance to give youngsters an opportunity.
His appearance will also include the chance for the audience to talk to him and ask questions, and for him that is all part of the experience.
“I don’t think a cathedral should be a serious, dour kind of place,” he says.
“These buildings are there for the glory of God, and that should be enjoyed.”
Jones is very down to earth and his joy in life shines through.
“I go around with a smile on my face,” he says. “I’m a happy person.
I have always had good people around me and I was lucky that I happened to have a nice voice and I was in the right place at the right time.”
l Aled Jones will be at Salisbury Cathedral on April 20. Tickets are available from gigsandtours.com and 08448110051, or ticketmaster.
co.uk and 0844 8262826.