British Folk Revolutionary JohnlikeJohn Discusses Vegans, Casualty and Fake Foxes

On December 1st, JohnlikeJohn release their EP, “Vegans are Evil Too”, a distinctly British mixture of whimsy, introversion and head-spinning flights of fancy, all wrapped up in Tom Wait’s raincoat and Robert Wyatt’s mittens. Speaking to head JLJ, Calum, we found what it means to be a modern folk musician and what makes the band tick.

What kind of music did you grow up listening to at home?

Well between the hippy refugee that is my mum, and the zoot suit, white jacket and side vents-wearing mod that is my dad (The Who reference) I’ve have a fairly eclectic mix of music growing up. Quite a poignant moment of first falling in love with music, was when my dad first played me Matty Groves by Fairport Convention, the song plays like an old-timey English folk song, detailing a man found sleeping with the farmers wife, they then have a sword fight for the love of the wife, the farmer wins (apparently most farmers are skilled jousters). I remember thinking, wow that was like a whole entire story in a song, it was funny, it was tragic and there was a sword fight. At that point I became obsessed with folk music and the troubadours of the 1960s – there was something about the emotions behind the stories that seemed so theatrical and I never doubted they were lying, everything was said with such truth and conviction that even at 8 I could listen to someone like Joni Mitchell or Neil Young and feel the full force of words and be a bit changed with each listening.

What’s your local music scene like? How do you think you fit in?

Well local to Battersea? Ha, I can’t imagine I could pin a musical movement on Battersea in 2017. There are only a few venues I go to, one of them being that Magic Garden that’s always got good stuff going on – they always have great gypsy jazz bands and blues acts, so I should probably try get a gig there since it’s a 2 minute walk. Also I’m a bit of an open mic addict since there just aren’t enough stages in London to play everyday, I’d highly recommend The Grove on Battersea Park Road – really fun and laid back, unlike some snobby ones I could think of.

What names did you consider for the band before settling on JohnlikeJohn?

John likes couscous, John likes curtains, John likes chesterfields….. But then I finally realised I like myself the most.

You use your music to tackle some serious issues – is this just cathartic for you as a songwriter or are you hoping to change peoples’ minds about the subjects?

For the most part I use my music, as vehicle to spew out the most embarrassing, tragic and ugly parts of myself out. listening to the EP is pretty much the splash zone. The track Vegans Are Evil Too is essentially a long list of things that have gone wrong so far, but there’s a gag or two in there to stop you from completely overdosing on melancholia. But yeah, I write a lot about anxiety, depression and “purpose” and it is cathartic: the more I write about it, the more I open up a discussion in myself as to why I feel this way and hopefully in others too.

Tell us about how you go about creating your music, from initial idea to completion. What equipment do you use?

As I said before, probably the most crucial element of making my music is to be painfully honest and really embarrassing, I figure most people are as embarrassed and as anxious as I am, the only difference is I happen to sing about it. So, I normally start with the lyrics. I write them as more of a conversation with myself, kind of like a really incoherent monologue. And from there, I’ll grab my Guild acoustic guitar or ukulele and play something that sounds how the words feel…God, I sound like an art student! I’m not the most confident of singers, so a lot of times I put on different accents or character depending on the song. I was heavily discouraged at college from doing this, but, meh, it’s fun. The same applied to the humour in my music, which at this point I find is impossible not to put in. Since I tackle issues that are fairly dreary and melancholy, I feel it’s my duty to contrast it with whimsy and levity, reminding people not to take it all too seriously, cheer up, have some dip!

Tell us about the rest of the band and how you met Kano (The Guitarist)

I have him in the band because he looks like a mixture of Neil Young and Nick Drake, plus he’s a wicked guitarist, especially when he’s got a slide in his hand…also he shares his tobacco with me.  Pedzy(Ukulele/backing vocals/flute/general sound-maker) I first met Pedzy my first year of studying music at BIMM – he was the only person in the whole college who shared my love for freak folk music like Daniel JohnstonThe Squirrel Nut Zippers and Coco Rosie. He always carries at least 8 different instruments with him at once,: they usually include a melodica; harmonicas; ukulele, and a bamboo saxophone, Tibetan bells and various percussive shit. He’s one of the golden ones that Pedzy.  Iain (Mr Double Bass). The direct descendant of William Wallace, he is the only person in the band who actually knows what were doing, musically I mean. Sometimes I just am amazed at how intricate his knowledge of music theory is. I first met Iain at my second home, El Metro, a tapas bar next to our college (couldn’t afford it, but you got free bread). We instantly clicked, even though Iain’s more about the funk than about the freak, but we compromise. Twiggy (The Fox) – so you will either recognise her as a human girl or as a fox. A lot of the time, Twiggy is wearing her famous fox mask at our gigs. She’s making her first online debut on the 31st of October when she appears in my spooky music video to Faking Foxes.

What have been your acting highlights?

One of my earlier jobs was an episode of Casualty where I played the character Rory Ronson who suffered from severe autism and absent epilepsy. It was the first time that as an actor I had to do real research and actually change how I thought about everything in order to  portray the character. I must have watched Rain Man 100 times, since Dustin Hoffman’s character was a massive inspiration and, funnily enough, Michael Cera too.

You’ve got a huge gig lined up – what would be your dream venue?

There’s a gig at the beginning of the film Lost Boys, where the big muscle guy’s playing sax. I’d play there.

Describe a typical JohnlikeJohn live show

Wow, see, when we play live its so much different to what the EP sounds like. Since I come from working in theatres and stuff like that, I’ve always had a strong on-stage vision. We’ve definitely toned down with recent gigs but there were goats and mimes and confetti, all kinds of shit but at the root of it all, its very entertaining. The audience aren’t separated from us and they are with us the whole way: making jokes; dancing with them, speaking to the audience. If I could, I’d spend all my time just playing shows.

What would be your ultimate aim in the music industry?

Honestly, just to keep doing what I’m doing but get paid for it haha! I suppose that’s they key really, write music, play amazing shows, say words occasionally and then get paid to do it again. I’d love to get a record deal with who ever Alabaster Deplume’s with.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

Vegans Are Evil Too, but so are milkmen, sausage dogs, barbacks and pretty much everyone. (I’m not just coming after the vegans)

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-576372009

Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2wX9uVE

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC90iBtQqhlTgWpz0NkdkwUQ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnlikeJohn/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnlikej

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnlikejohn/?hl=en

 

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Crack Of Dawn Set To Release Brand New Album ‘Spotlight’

Welcoming back to the stage, Crack of Dawn! 

After years away from the ‘Spotlight’, this group of highly talented and skilled musicians have recorded and are set to release their latest album, which promises not to disappoint.

The collective minds of musicians Alvin Jones, Greg Gooding, Carl Harvey, Michael Dunston and Trevor Daley have joined forces once again to bring fans a bit of funk back into your lives.

Even Though they are drawing style from their early days, Crack of Dawn are also using new era funk and pop, each member providing musical experiences they have had throughout the years. Little nods to artists such as Bruno Mars, Earth, Wind and Fire and Parliament Funkadelic are heard throughout, even though Crack of Dawn still keep it fresh and make it their own.

With a eclectic mix of tracks this new addition to the world of Crack of Dawn is a great and worthy piece that fans and music listeners everywhere will love.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoNzxEP5sJc
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CrackofDawnBand/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crackofdawnofficial/?hl=en
Website: https://www.crackofdawn.ca/

 

Souli Roots Is Saving The World, One Song At A Time

 

World Peace Expression’, The latest single from singer-songwriter Souli Roots, who’s appearance on 2013’s X-Factor has cemented a place for Souli to work her way up.

Souli’s positive spirit and can-do attitude is more than a great tool to help her gain success, with her aim to not only enter the charts, but to dominate over everyone else, and to make her new track the Christmas #1 of 2017.

“I will die trying to achieve my dream as an Ambassador of world peace through my music,
I will never give up
I won’t give up” Explains Souli.

After the recent release of Drum and bass song ‘This is the place’ in 2016, she is ready for more than her impressive 19k views on YouTube. And to get there, Souli has had to blend together a diverse mix of musical inspirations and styles, ranging from sounds reminiscent of African instrumentation, to Bob Marley inspired melodies, Souli is pulling out all the stops to help bring peace through her words and music.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/souliroots
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/search/results/world%20peace%20expression
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/souliroots
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/souli.roots.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/souliroots
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/souliroots34/
Website: www.souliroots.co.uk

 

Celebration Of Life: How Jungle, Drum And Bass Artists Are Coming Together For Celebration

 

A mass mix of different artists are uniting for charity, with a mother of 2 spearheading this monumental campaign.

Charlene Mulhern, a mother of 2 has a mission, to bring happiness to all, and with her attitude, its more than possible. Charlene has a son, Jaden, and a daughter, Taya. Jaden has an incurable progressive brain disorder, and Taya has PTSD, autism and Asperger’s.

With these circumstances, Charlene has decided to make it known, that there is help, and that even though some journeys are hard, there is support available.

In an attempt to get this message as far as possible, Charlene’s never give up attitude has attracted attention from artists that range from jungle to Dance to Drum and Bass. Artists include General Levy, Ragga Twins, Tippa Irie, Cowboy Ranger and Navigator, with production from Potential Bad Boy.

She has managed to get these artists and more to record two songs focusing on the positivity that life can bring and the strength within. The titles of both of these tracks are ‘Celebrate life’ and ‘Think Positive’, which are sure to get you in a upbeat and joyful mood.  “These songs will be a spiritual tribute to my children, incorporating a message that is dedicated to anybody who inspires, gives strength and makes you smile” explains Charlene.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-469116529/celebration-of-life/s-2wzva
YouTube: https://youtu.be/MkRHmucttLQ
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CelebrationofLifeglobal/
Twitter: @celebratelifeuk
Instagram: celebrationoflifeglobal
Website: www.celebrationoflife.global

 

Belle Chen: For Any And All Music Lovers

 

As a guy who’s spent most of his music life listening to Green Day, Metallica and other punk and metal bands, I wouldn’t have expected to have seen a brand new, completely unique and overall harmonious performance by Pianist Belle Chen.

On the 18th of October, I went to go see Belle Chen, a Pianist who was playing her brand new album ‘Mademoiselle’ live, at the Senate House in London. This event was part of the Bloomsbury festival, which welcomes a wide range of different acts and performance pieces. I was immediately intrigued by Belle Chen’s eclectic mix in the description. Drawing from Classical, Electro as well as aspects of Jazz, this was an appealing and exciting collaboration of genres.

Ranging from, beautiful, delicate and emotional piano playing, to heavy, darkened and thought provoking sounds and sights(with the help of an interpretive dancer).

The night started with a small composition as an opener, to which Belle would talk about the night ahead later on after the piece was finished. She explained that she would take us as the audience on a journey, to which there were 3 parts. Throughout, there would be the use of instruments and tools such as a loop pedal and sound art which diversified the overall show giving it more colour and vibrancy.

There was one piece that was mesmerising to witness, which was Claude Debussy’s ‘Claire De Lune’, a famous composition which is associated with Moonlight, and after listening to that, walking out to a crisp London night was the perfect environment for the music that would define the evening.

Website: www.bellechen.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bellechenmusic
Twitter: @bellepianist
Instagram: @bellepianist
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/chenonthetube
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bellechen
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7Ihfoi68laeuxOhTJLCa4l

Multi-Talented Lawrence Preston Is Back, With New Single ‘Something For You’

 

Lawrence Preston has returned to top form with his funk-soul roots, with brand new track ‘Something For You’.

Lawrence Preston has always been a formidable player in the funk-soul scene, with original hit ‘Driving Me Away’, which was actually one of the first songs he wrote in the early 90’s. As well as this, his previous album release, ‘And Now, Lawrence Preston’, which was released in 1997.

Lawrence first began his musical journey at an early age, where he would watch and take part of his parents gospel group ‘The Sensational Travelers’, he would then at the age of 5 years old, he would be hired to front another family group, known as the ‘Fantastic Four’. 

Throughout his professional career, he has managed to gain strengths and talents in a number of varied areas, becoming a bass player for many touring bands and artists such as Dorothy Morrison. While he had honed his craft throughout the years, he soon found himself motivated to write and record his own original material, which led to him gaining skills in being a producer, writer and performer.

Now with the release of new track, Lawrence is ready to take on the world, and restore a little bit of funk back into your day.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@law_preston

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lawrence.preston.37

 

 

‘Mosaic’ Are Taking A Fresh Take On Youth

 

With an eclectic style, the boys in Mosaic are drawing from their youth to write songs for today.

Drawing from inspirations including ‘Bloc Party’, ‘Walk the Moon’ and ‘Arctic Monkeys’, these group of talented musicians also have remnants to the ‘Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ in groove and prowess that defines their overall charisma and charm.

Based in Guilford, these guys have been touring and playing live, with a back catalogue of originals and a mass love for all music styles and artists. Their previous releases include EP ‘For You’, which includes tracks such as “Back To Earth”, “Take Me Away” and single “Rio”. 

Drawing heavy emotion, ideas, dreams and spirit from their University days, Mosaic have managed to capture the feeling of extreme and exciting partying with their music and ultimate overview on life.

Be Sure to check them out:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mosaicofficial
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuenCiVLKdpI_cs-989bsUQ
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MosaicUK/
Twitter: https://twitter.com_mosaicofficial
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_mosaicofficial/
Website: https://www.mosaicofficial.co.uk