East Grinstead’s Jive Aces speak out against drug use

The Jive Aces
The Jive Aces

Britain’s Got Talent stars The Jive Aces are to perform in Worthing as part of their anti-drugs campaign.

They will be in Montague Place on Saturday, August 5 (1pm-2pm), spreading their good cheer and encouraging passers-by to Say No To Drugs, as part of their tour.

Then the next day, they stage their own annual festival on home turf at East Grinstead where they rehearse. Summertime Swing is August 6 at Saint Hill Manor, all in aid of charity.

It all comes at a happy time for the band who are this year marking their 20th anniversary.

Lead singer Ian Clarkson recalls: “We have been playing for years, and things have been getting better and better, with everything going tickety-boo. But years and years ago, when I first started in music, everyone was dabbling in drugs. I just tried to avoid them. Others went further. I didn’t go further. People started moving on to cocaine and heroin, and by the time they did that, I just stopped hanging around with them. They started out as good fun, but the more drugs they did, the less and less they did, just sitting around at home, freaking each other out.”

These are lessons The Jive Aces want to put across: “The band does a lot of community stuff, and life is so much fun and so lovely that we just want to give something back.”

Hence the involvement with the anti-drug message, one founded on education and information.

“You can’t just go saying ‘Don’t take drugs’ without giving young people education because at best they are just not likely to listen to you. We have booklets with all the information about each different type of drug, and they can read that and find out what each drug really does to you. And then you are appealing to their own self-determinism, their own choice, and they realise for themselves that it is not as cool as it sounds.”

The Jive Aces are all Scientologists. Say No to Drugs, Say Yes To Life is a youth drug education and drug prevention campaign sponsored by the Church of Scientology. The programme educates kids on the dangers of drugs and challenges them to remain drug-free.

Ian cites a young woman who was taking ‘kiddy coke’ (Ritalin): “She read through the booklet and saw the side effects. We were back there two or three months later, and she came up asking ‘Where is Ian?’ She wanted to tell me that she was off Ritalin. If you can get even just one or two people to change, then it is great. It is a good thing for musicians and artists and stuff to realise that actually people listen to us.”

To mark the completion of their second decade, The Jive Aces have just brought out their eighth album, Diggin’ The Roots, Volume One.

“This is the music that has influenced us. The first volume is ’50s rhythm ‘n’ blues and rock ’n’ roll. The second volume will be more jazz and swing stuff.”

Things have continued to go brilliantly since their success in Britain’s Got Talent, reaching the semi-finals in an important year for them, 2012: “We did Britain’s Got Talent and then we played for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and then we played for the opening of the Paralympic games. It has been great.”

Visit www.jiveaces.com.

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