Watch this! John release new single and live session video!
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  • Post published:09/09/2021
  • Post last modified:09/09/2021


Photo: Paul Grace.

John return with a third track Non Essential Hymn, to be lifted from their follow up to the fuckin’ brilliant Out Here On The Fringes which was number two in our LTW albums of the year poll back in 2019 (Review here). Get ready to buckle up your seatbelts for some hardcore at it’s rawest from the loudest two piece around, who as I quoted “Make Royal Blood sound like fuckin’ Abba”. Listen to the Non Essential Hymn here. Read on…

Today, JOHN – the virtually ungoogleable moniker for London duo John Newton (drums, lead vocals) and Johnny Healey (guitar, backing vocals) – share a new taster of their incoming third album, Nocturnal Manoeuvres, ahead of its Oct 8th release via the band’s own Pets Care imprint and Brace Yourself Records. The third single drawn from the album comes in the guise of its towering closer ‘Non-Essential Hymn‘, which gradually blossoms from the band’s propulsive post-hardcore into a motorik, autobahn-ready finale, jet powered by Newton’s driving drums and Healey’s Sonic Youth-esque guitar heroics into a place of pure hypnosis.

It’s a track that hits home at one of the record’s key motifs, of the modern city’s ever-expanding, ever-more 24-hour nature. As Newton puts it:

Echoed by the album’s title Nocturnal Manoeuvres, Johnny and I often found ourselves discussing the 24/7 demands of our accelerated present – after all, it’s pretty hard to ignore when staring over the ever-expanding city from our native Crystal Palace. The song became a nod to these now ‘essential’ obligations, the lyrics recalling the security guards of the city, denying their natural circadian rhythm in order to protect ever-lit office buildings. We wanted to mimic the incessancy and repetition of these traditions, and we felt like the meditative quality of the closing section helped give some semblance.” 

The release of ‘Non-Essential Hymn’ also sees the band share a live session video of the song laid to tape at The Bookhouse Studio in South London right off the back of their recent packed-out set at this year’s Green Man festival. Produced by Tom Hill, it offers not only a glimpse of the keen musicianship and bristling energy of JOHN as a live act but also of the mesmerising nature of the more structurally experimental ‘Non-Essential Hymn’.

“It’s certainly quite a structural departure when held up against some of our other tracks,” says Newton. “Having always understood the physical limitations of a duo, we’ve always tried our best to make subtle shifts musically – to keep exploring new avenues – and ‘Non-Essential Hymn’ was written on a baritone guitar, giving the whole track a lower depth which it really benefited from. It became quite obvious when recording the album, that this depth (both audible and structural) meant that the track needed to sit as the album closer, and it’s become a real stand out moment for us both.”


Tour Dates:

Sept 9th | Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach
Sept 10th | Exeter, UK – The Cavern
Sept 12th | Hebden Bridge, UK – Trades Club
Sept 18th | Leicester, UK – Wide Eyed Festival
Sept 19th | Sheffield, UK – O2 Academy 2
Sept 30th | Tunbridge Wells, UK – The Forum
Oct 1st-3rd | Liverpool, UK – Sound City festival*
Oct 2nd | Blackpool, UK – Bootleg Social
Oct 6th | Nottingham, UK – The Bodega
Oct 7th | Wrexham, UK – Focus Wales festival
Oct 8th | Belfast, UK – Ulster Sports Club
Oct 9th | Dublin, IE – Whelan’s (Upstairs)
Oct 10th | Glasgow, UK – Stereo
Oct 11th | Edinburgh, UK – Sneaky Pete’s
Oct 12th | Stockton, UK – The Georgian Theatre
Oct 13th | Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
Oct 14th | Manchester, UK – YES
Oct 14th-17th | Norwich, UK – Wild Paths festival*
Oct 16th | Reading, UK – Face Bar
Oct 17th | Bristol, UK – Thekla
Oct 19th | Oxford, UK – The Bullingdon
Oct 20th | Brighton, UK – Patterns
Oct 21st | Southampton, UK  – The Loft
Oct 22nd | London, UK – Moth Club
May 13th | London, UK – Electric Ballroom#

* = day to be announced
# = supporting Mclusky

Foreword by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here

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