by Thomas Bedward December 21, 2021
The John Andrews Band have recently released their brand new single ‘On The Run’, and it's arguably their best cut to date. Hailing from Belfast, the band are fronted by singer-songwriter John Andrews, and the single and accompanying video tell John’s story after being released from prison after nine months due to an alcohol-infused car accident in which he lost his brother.
Showcasing his raw, almost-naked autobiographical song writing and drowning in emotion drawn from his love of blues, hiphop, jazz and punk, ‘On The Run’ wears the author's heart on it’s sleeve and was written just after John’s release, with a further nine songs penned during his spell inside. Having already gained a name for himself as a solo live performer playing the likes of Sunflower, Eastside Arts and Feile festivals, five of these songs were released by John as the ‘Johnny Was’ EP in 2018.
A few years after leaving prison and a chance meeting on a bus with guitarist Joel Irvine lead to the formation of the band. After joining John as lead guitarist for a few solo shows, Irvine suggested the McCrea twins (Michael and Shea - bass and drums) join them. The twins, liking John’s material agreed, and the two became four in late 2018. “I had been looking for the right people to play with”, says John, “and it all just fell into place”.
With influences ranging from 2pac, Pink Floyd, The Clash, Pixies, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar and sharing a drive to perform John's songs live, The John Andrews Band were soon playing talked-about shows in Belfast and further afield in Northern Ireland, putting out their debut single ‘OMG’ in March 2020. Gaining radio plays both at home and as far afield as Australia, the USA, China, France and Austria, the single was produced by Danny Saber (David Bowie, Rolling Stones), with the accompanying video filmed in a cemetery and chapel.
Speaking about the band, Ben Magee of Chordblossom said, ''A handful in his own right, with his mixture of country, rock and hip-hop, the addition of a supporting cast allowed Andrews to share the load and fully cut loose. His gravelly vocals have a genuine element, a real kick to the teeth ethos in them, that perfectly compliments his setlist. “You have the right to remain violent” he growls, always with a cocksure smile across his face, bringing an East Belfast swagger to his international appeal.’'
Moving forwards and now with over 20 original songs under their belt, The John Andrews Band are preparing for the release of their debut album. Featuring ‘On The Run’ and titled ‘Blinded By The Light’, the album will document John’s musical journey from 2016 - 2021 and is tentatively set for release in August next year, following a further four singles and videos.
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