John will be headlining the Carpentras blues festival on June 30th. Tickets are now available from Auzon le Blues.
Music Video 'One' John Illsley, Greg Pearle, Paul Brady from the Album 'Beautiful You' and the movie 'Anton'. www.antonthemovie.com, http://www.johnillsley.com/ Directed by Graham Cantwell Produced by Patrick Clarke Director of Photography Fergal O'Hanlon
John performed two tracks unplugged for BBC radio two last Sunday with Paul Stacey and Jess Greenfield. Listen again now on iPlayer;
“An astute lyricist” ~ MOJO
Book your tickets to see the album performed live at the iconic Half Moon in Putney.
Multiple Brit & Grammy award winner John Illsley is set to release his sixth solo studio album ‘Long Shadows’ on May 13th 2016. The album follows his 2014 studio release ‘Testing The Water’ and last year’s live album ‘Live In London’.
After cutting his teeth as bass player and one of the founding members of Dire Straits, Illsley has also released a steady stream of solo material, an output that, although never rushed, has been critically acclaimed. Undertaking lead vocal, acoustic guitar and bass duties on all of the album’s eight tracks, Illsley’s unmistakable sound, approach to arrangement and song writing is paired with his faultless lyrical storytelling. A departure from the previous album’s themes of personal trials and tribulations, Illsley comments that the lyrical content pertains to “the obvious political and social elements which have always concerned me.”
Although Illsley has never been one to comment extensively on the meaning behind his lyrical inspirations (preferring to leave interpretation to the listener), some tracks on ‘Long Shadows’ do have a defined and contemporary relevance. Illsley remarks “'In the Darkness' for example is a take on the internet and how it seduces us all in some ways, but particularly those young people who get influenced to join radical religious groups.”
Opening with the solemn instrumental ‘Morning’, the album swells and dips with each musical movement. Energetic numbers, like ‘In The Darkness’ and ‘Long Shadow' are indicative of Illsley’s rock and blues background, demonstrating his ability as a seasoned musician and composer who can move with the times, whilst slower tracks like ‘There’s Something About You’ and ‘Ship Of Fools’ showcase Illsley’s story telling, as his vocals become reminiscent of the blues troubadours of old.
Illsley enlisted a roster of top friends and musicians for this release, including Simon Johnson (Lana Del Rey, James Morrison) on electric guitar and Guy Fletcher performing keyboard duties, as well as co-producing the album with Illsley. The Mark Knopfler owned British Grove Studios along with Room with a View Studio & A Bay Studios were used to record and produce the record, with Illsley’s children Jess and Dee Dee Illsley also contributed backing vocals.
John also expresses himself through painting, a passion he has developed over the last twenty years, and has now had solo exhibitions around the world. “For me art and music are interlinked - you start with a blank canvas and work away until you are satisfied that you have made something which is as close as it can to be to what you are trying to achieve. There is a great element of mystery in both processes which can surprise you and upset you in equal measure.” His most recent art exhibition took place at Belgravia Gallery in May last year.
‘Long Shadows’ track listing:
2 In The Darkness
3 Comes Around Again
4 There’s Something About You
5 Ship Of Fools
6 Lay Me Down
7 Long Shadows
8 Close To The Edge
John Illsley - Lead vocal, electric & acoustic guitar & Fender bass
Simon Johnson – Mandolin, electric guitars, acoustic lead guitar, slide guitar
Paul Beavis – Drums and percussion
Phil Palmer – Electric lead guitar, electric guitar
Steve Smith –Yamaha grand piano, piano, Wurlitzer, Hammond organ, Taurus bass pedals
Guy Fletcher - Hammond organ, backing vocals, Yamaha CS80 synthesiser, electric piano
Jess Greenfield, Jess Illsley & Dee Dee Illsley - backing vocals
Robbie MacIntosh – Slide guitar
Everton Nelson -1st violin
Ian Humphries - 2nd violin
Bruce White - Viola
Caroline Dale – Cello
John Illsley will also being playing select shows in the UK during 2016:
John will be back in the Netherlands and then Germany from April 2016 promoting his forthcoming album 'Long Shadows'. Use the links below to see where he will be playing or to buy tickets to a show.
Recorded live at The East End Arms in 2014. Featuring John Illsley (Guitar and Vocals) Robbie Macintosh (Guitar), Simon Johnson (Guitar), Steve Smith (Keys), Paul Bevis (Drums) and Jess Greenfield (Backing Vocals).
Congratulations to Maria Elena Davila Garcia and Damien Mc Loughlin for winning this month's prize draw. Thank you to everyone who entered and to everyone who shared my latest video.
John's first solo album is now available as a limited edition CD.
Originally released in 1984 by Vertigo Records, Never Told a Soul has been reissued and is now available as a limited edition CD album.
- Boy With Chinese Eyes
- The Night Cafe
- Never Told A Soul
- Jimmy On The Central Line
- Northern Land
- Another Alibi
- Let The River Flow
This month John is giving away two signed albums. To enter the prize draw all you have to do is share his brand new video on your Facebook or twitter page. Each time you share the video your name will be added to the "hat", the more you share the better your odds! The winners will be announced on June 30th. Good Luck!
You can either use youtube's own sharing tool once you've played the video or copy and paste this link into a new post: https://youtu.be/Ar1SRUthbNw
John and his band will be playing the festival this summer along with a whole host of musicians, comedians and authors. The festival runs from the 17th-19th of July and tickets are available for the weekend as well as individual days.
See the website for more information.
Thank you to My Rock World for this write up and interview from the Munich Show.
Thank you to THM for these pictures taken at the Munich show. Still to come on the tour:
John Illsley and his Band return to the Half Moon celebrating the release of Testing the Water.
I will be touring Germany in March with the band. Expect a set of Dire Straits classics and songs from my latest album, Testing the Water.
Recorded in The Half Moon, Putney in 2013 Live in London features songs from Pink Floyd, Lennard Cohen and Dire Straits as well as a variety of songs from John's solo albums.
John and the band will be returning to the Half Moon on the 19th of March 2015. Tickets are available here: http://johnillsley.com/tour/the-half-moon
- Toe the Line
- Walk of Life
- Once Apon a Time in the West
- Private Investigations
- Young Girl
- Sultans of Swing
- First we Take Manhattan
- Another Brick in the Wall
- Streets of Heaven
- I Thought I Saw it Coming
- Romeo and Juliet
- When God Made Time
- Is it Real
- Brothers in Arms
- Money for Nothing
Bass, Vocals - John Illsley
Guitar, Backing Vocals - Robbie Macintosh
Guitar, Backing Vocals - Simon Johnson
Keys, Backing Vocals - Steve Smith
Drums - Moses Van den Bogaerde
John Illsley - Live In London