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In My Shoes With Jack Flanagan

Mystery Jets bassist turned solo singer Jack Flanagan has come a long way since the days of playing demos to friends in the comfort of his home. After ten years of making music in an indie band, the Basingstoke-born rock ‘n’ roller decided to take the leap and brave it alone. His first ever solo album, Rides the Sky, is an escapist medley of 12 coming-of-age tracks.

A self-confessed Clarks-obsessed creative who finds his best inspiration when on the move, Jack takes a walk down memory lane with us - chatting about his youthful experimentation with our signature kicks, as well as his styling preferences today. One thing’s for sure, with his songs finally out in the world, Jack and his Clarks-clad feet are ready for whatever the future has in store!

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What does a day in your shoes look like?

I imagine it’s pretty dark in there, with a good view of my socks! I walk around a lot; I don’t really get on tubes or buses in the week. I like to go off the beaten track, I find the best ideas come when I’m moving. I never really premeditate my songs but walking definitely puts me in the right mood. It also helps me plan other things. I’m quite a social creature who needs to speak to people just as much as he needs to sit in a room and make music. Recently, I’ve been working with Mystery Jets more, so I take my shoes to band practice and for lunch when we have breaks at said practices.

How did you become part of Mystery Jets, what has the band’s journey been like?

Wow, it was ten whole years ago! Blaine and William were following me around East London. It felt like they were at every corner I turned and then one day they ended up in my house listening to my early solo demos. Blaine told me he wanted to join my band playing piano, but it turns out he actually wanted me to fill a bass player-shaped hole in their band. I was more than happy to as I loved and love the music.

The journey itself has been cool! I’ve toured the world a good few times. Made lots of friends and hopefully made some people happy or helped with the music we write and perform. That’s the most rewarding bit - spreading the vibes. Ten years has sure gone quick though!

“My big brother used to wear Clarks as a teenager. I idolised him and would try his shoes on, even though they were about 5 sizes too big!”

How does it feel to be releasing your first solo album?

It feels awesome. I’ve been sat on these songs for just as long as I’ve been in the Mystery Jets. I didn’t think I’d ever get round to releasing them, but my support bubble insisted that I got them out there. It feels like a 7ft gorilla has been lifted off my back now that they’re slowly being released into the world. It’s a rather wonderful feeling.

Can you describe your new album ‘Rides the Sky’ in 3 words?

Really really good.

You’re self-confessed Clarks obsessed! What is it about the brand and products that you love?

My big brother used to wear Clarks as a teenager, and I idolised him. I used to try them on when he wasn’t wearing them, even though they were about 5 sizes too big! Desert boots. Loved them.

What’s your favourite Clarks shoe & how are you styling it?

I’m wearing maple suede Wallabees at the moment and I find that they go well with anything. Normally I match them up with Levi’s jeans. I tend to wear the same jeans a lot. You might also see said Wallabees underneath some suit trousers every now and then.

What's the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

It was comparing unrequited love to a sine wave and the idea that you have to let the wave run its natural course to regain positive amplitude.

“I’m wearing maple suede Wallabees at the moment. They go well with anything. Normally I match them up with Levi’s jeans, but you might see them underneath trousers too.”