JOHN ANDREWS, the Belfast singer-songwriter who fronts the band which takes his name, isn’t someone who’s taken a trip to the wild side just for edgelord slumming kicks in order to inform his breezy, skiffly punk-blues – as evidenced by the lawmen-evading single the band have just released, “On The Run”. Take a dive for yourself.
For both the single and accompanying video tell the story of John’s release from a nine-month sentence served after an alcohol-infused car accident in which he lost his brother.
John wrote the song shortly after release, penning it while the feelings were still sharp in the mind; he wrote nine other songs while doing his time.
Before that detainment at Her Majesty’s pleasure brought a hiatus to his musical career, John had already carved out something of a name for himself across the six counties as a solo performer, with the five-song Johnny Was EP coming out in 2018.
And “On The Run” rolls out with an acoustic punky ease, clicky bass and a tale of darker times delivered with his warm Ulster tones to the forefront.
With a clutch of songs ready to roll after his release, it was a chance meeting with guitarist Joel Irvine on a bus that led to the formation of the band. After joining John as lead guitarist for a few solo shows, Joel suggested the McCrea twins, bassist Michael and drummer Shea, might just be the perfect fit to finish off the quartet. “I had been looking for the right people to play with,” John says, “and it all just fell into place.”
“On The Run” is their first outing since last spring’s single, the plaintive, Nick Cave-like noir lament of “OMG”.
The band are locked and loaded and ready for 2022: they’ve a repertoire of more than 20 songs from which ranks to draw for their debut album, which is tentatively scheduled for next August, and which will document John’s journey through this life over the past five years – with a further four singles to come in the interim.
The John Andrews Band’s “On The Run” is out now across digital streaming platforms.