Jonny Walker Band LIVE at Surya, London October 25th

£6 adv | £8 otd | Doors 7.30pm | 18+ | at Surya, 156 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JL

GET TICKETS, QUICK!

The Jonny Walker Band are back in London headlining an intimate evening of music at one of the capital’s premier music venues. With spectacular support from ‘Indie, Funk, Ska mix masters’ Roger The Mascot, the next big thing in the world of indie rock ‘n’ roll and Cri De Velours another top act from the LMC stable it promises to be a memorable evening…

Jonny has been working with internationally renowned composer Peter Byrom-Smith to develop his alternative folk/pop songs and has assembled an exceptionally talented band to come along for the ride. With the phenomenal Tom Coxhead on keyboard who studied Music at Leeds University alongside the aptly named Tim Hearson on bass, the band also features soulful backing vocals from Abbe Smith and the creative grooving of Jon Hunt on the drums, a veteran of Leeds College of Music.
2013 has seen Jonny Walker, singer songwriter, street culture activist and Britain’s best-known busker form a band swapping street for stage for a series of spectacular indoor gigs.

Passionate about keeping public spaces open to the arts; Liverpool-born Jonny has dedicated a decade to delivering his soulful folk ballads on the streets of over one hundred towns and cities throughout the UK and Europe.

Jonny’s rich vocals, sensitive guitar playing (having been taught by the highly-acclaimed guitar master Jon Gomm) and hauntingly beautiful songs have captivated his ever-growing fan base, who have, in turn, propelled him into a Youtube sensation, with his songs receiving thousands of plays and his Facebook posts seen by millions.

Jonny has been featured on BBC and ITV news, the Guardian and extensive local publications, for his on-going campaign to overturn restrictive council policies that place burdens on buskers and damage our shared culture of street performance. His debut EP ‘This Is Not Me,’ has been met with sparkling reviews that reflect both his music and the man himself…

“Heartfelt, unpretentious and utterly charming”… Rocksucker

Jonny has been described as a heady mix of Dylan, Neil Young and the enigmatic Leonard Cohen. He is a natural storyteller with lyrics that challenge the depths.

.“ A modern day Ralph McTell as his ability to tell a story with conscience” … Liverpool Sound and Vision

His much awaited debut album is due for release later this year. Jonny will be performing several tracks from his new album at his forthcoming gigs.

www.jonnywalker.co.uk

Cri De Velours www.facebook.com/CriDeVelours
Since bursting onto the scene six months ago, Cri De Velours, who hail from Stoke-on-Trent, have been signed to a record label, and their début single Oak Door has been met with rave reviews.

Lead-singer Stefan Smith’s lyrics are reminiscent of the informal chronicler Dylan. Impressive vocals, punctuated by a hard hitting range – take you on a buckle-up journey through a landscape of life experiences…poignant emotions, with an upbeat delivery.

Under the umbrella of folk/rock, six strings and a beat; builds to foot-stomping and catchy tunes, which have you singing along merrily to the highs and lows of life. The complex nuances of relationships – captured with a gritty determination to roll with the punches… Jangly guitar riffs, clear vocals and melodic harmonies weave a powerful hook.

Roger The Mascot www.facebook.com/rogerthemascot
Roger The Mascot, a four piece energetic indie band from Nottinghamshire. Formed in January of 2012 by four dedicated musicians with the desire to create their own brand of authentic and catchy indie music.

The Powers That Be?

A typical damp Wednesday busking in York. That’s me, Jonny Walker, looking a bit upset on the left. On the right, partially obscured, are no less than SIX public servants from the council and the police who are taking time out of their afternoon to deal with that social menace otherwise known as busking.York Council charge street performers £40 per day if they want to sell CDs of their music to the public. That is a lot of money when you are already performing for free in rain or shine. So I have written a sign that says ‘cd available, suggested contribution £7, these CDs are not being offered for sale, contributions are voluntary and at your discretion’. The lady in the black jacket told me to take the sign down and the CDs out or I would lose my busking permit. I have had a permit for nine years, but that doesn’t seem to count for anything.
I politely refused at which point she called the licensing department who accused me of street trading. I said that the CDs were not for sale, they are an extension of my busking act, any contribution is voluntary. At this point the man said, ‘Take away his busking permit’.

I was told to turn off my microphone or that the police would be called. I said

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that I was doing nothing unlawful and was not prepared to stop playing. At this point the police were called.

There I was with two council officials, two licensing officials and two police officers. I don’t know whether they enjoyed my version of Hallelujah, but the Licensing Enforcement officer gave me a caution, read me my rights, took a photo of my sign and took two copies of my cd. The lady from the council walked away and told me she would be speaking to her boss to see whether I would have my permit revoked for the insubordination.

I was left in peace to carry on singing…but for how long?

The Association of Street Artists and Performers has been set up because accross the country local authorities are getting heavy handed with people who want nothing more then to perform their art on the streets. Public space belongs to all of us, and the High Streets, under pressure from Internet shopping, out of town developments, high rents and the dire economic situation need to be full of life and music to keep people’s spirits up. Street performance gives a place a sense of community and well-being, and is one of the many reasons people still have for actually physically going to a place.

So instead of sending 6 public servants to try to intimidate a street musician, why doesn’t the local authority work with the street artists and performers to build a sense of community, and public places that everybody can feel part of. The campaign to Keep Streets Live is only just beginning! Whether you are a street performer yourself, would like to be, or just value art at street culture level, join us on this journey….

Please feel free to share this with other people. The time has come for the streets to be acknowledged as the vitally important spaces that they are, both for music, the arts and for a greater sense of community…

Join the commentary on my Facebook page

Song Lyrics: This Is Not Me

This Is Not Me

Walker/Wing

Verse 1

Why do bad things happen?
Too many crosses to bear.
Why does God stay silent?
Is it ‘cos he’s not there?

Chorus

So many times I have begged for forgiveness,
So many times I’ve been down on my knees,
So many times I have waited in silence for you,
In some kind of dream,
But this is not me,
This is not me,

Verse 2

Why must people suffer?
Too many crosses to bear.
Why does God stay silent?
Is it ‘cos he’s not there?

Chorus

Chorus (X 2)

This Is Not Me,
It’s not who I am,
It’s not what I’ve seen.

WATCH THE OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO NOW!

 

Copyright Jonny Walker. All rights reserved.

Song Lyrics: Song For Bernie

Song For Bernie

Walker/Kipper

There’s an empty space on Church Street, where Bernie used to dance,
With passing drunks and travelers,
She never missed the chance,
To move her beaten body, broken, badly with the beat,
To briefly find herself at one with the music of the street,

There’s an empty place on Church Street where Bernie used to fight,
With passing drunks and lovers,
And other strangers in the night,
Her sad dark face was filled with fire as tears fell to her feet,
And lifetime’s trickled sadly into the river of the street

Chorus

And if it’s alright,
To pretend that you don’t notice,
And if it’s alright to look the other way.
And if it’s alright to say that you won’t listen,
While she’s lying there,
She’s the one we just don’t see

There’s an empty bench on Church street, where Bernie used to lie,

She didn’t see the years and people,
As they slowly trickled by,
And left her sitting on her own beneath the Church Street sky,
To wait in heavy sadness,
For the day to say goodbye.

WATCH JONNY’S LIVE PERFORMANCE OF ‘Song For Bernie’

Copyright Jonny Walker. All rights reserved.

Song Lyrics: Strange Disease

Strange Disease

Walker

Upon the good ship nowhere,
The slaves awoke one morn,
The salty smell of seaweed,
Filled the dew-kissed air of dawn,

There was a sudden murmur,
As some could see the land,

And in the far horizon,
The sun reflected off the sand,

Chorus

Ride this boat with me,
We’ll sail these empty seas,
Hoping to be healed,
From this strange disease,

And as the ship drew closer,
The sky began to change,
From brightest blue, to bloodshed red,
The harbour now in range,

And I could see those colours,
Dancing in the sky,
As I strained to hear the music,
Of the siren’s lullaby,

Chorus,

This

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ship will sail forever,
For there’s nowhere to arrive,
And we’ll just sit here waiting,
For the final sun to rise,

Yes, I still see those colours,
Dancing in the sky,
As I wonder will I get the chance,
To say my last goodbye?

WATCH JONNY’S LIVE PERFORMANCE OF ‘Strange Disease’

Copyright Jonny Walker. All rights reserved.

Song Lyrics: Last Waltz Of The Summer

Last Waltz Of The Summer

A Walker/Wing song

It’s late as my head hits the pillow,
And my weary eyes close for the night,
But I’ve no time to lay here and wallow,
For I’ve seen the most gruesome of sights,

And I’ve listened to the whispers of children,
Whilst they’re hiding out under their beds,
And I’ve spoken those words left unspoken,
When no-one is sure what’s been said,

And my conscience is slowly eroding,
Washed out to sea with the tide,
And I’m left with a few empty smiles,
And the little that’s left of my pride

And I can’t stand the fact it’s the morning,
As the sunlight pours in through the door,
‘Cos I can see all my yesterdays,
Strewn all over the floor,

No and don’t talk to me of forgiveness,
For there’s none to be found anymore,
The priest has gone home and retired,
And the enemy is winning the war,

And still we’ll be looking for answers,
And for reasons to open our eyes,
But we are just wastrels and chancers,
Too eager to cut all our ties,

And the waves of the ages wash over,
And we are the dust left behind,
A people in need of a prophet,
Or seekers with no-one to find.

WATCH JONNY’S LIVE PERFORMANCE OF ‘Last Waltz Of The Summer’

 

Copyright Jonny Walker. All rights reserved.

Keep Streets Live and Media Coverage

This is an extract from a letter I have written to media contacts:

BBC Northwest ran a story on our event, but I have to say that the coverage was slightly mis-leading and misrepresented our grievances. Anybody watching the report on Monday 9th would have been forgiven for thinking it was a bunch of buskers moaning about paying a £20 registration fee for a council permit. BID CEO Ged Gibbons talked about the policy about giving ‘everybody a chance’ whilst in the same breath reducing the number of performing pitches on Church Street and Lord Street from around eight spots to one. Coercive letters threatening buskers with trespass prosecution were not mentioned. The only clip used of my many interviews was the one time I acknowledged that busking can cause issues for councils.

There is a wider, on-going story here, much bigger then the one that has so far been reported on in the BBC or the Liverpool Echo. It is about restrictions on the use of public spaces for spontaneous gatherings of community and civil society. It is about the Council using legally dubious threats of trespass against performers and musicians to frighten them into signing up to a coercive and restrictive scheme. It is about a body with limited accountability that advances a narrow, but powerful section of interest, in this case the Business Improvement District, attempting to advance a policy that affects the whole city of Liverpool without consultation. It is about a Councillor, in this case, Stephen Munby, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, a man who talks about getting youth workers for our children who have no places to go and nothing

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to do (New policy stipulation no under 18 performers) rubber stamping and giving legitimacy to a piece of sloppy and badly thought through policy without proper accountability and daring to dress it up as something that BENEFITS performers. They thought they could do it by the back door because street artists and street performers are soft and easy targets for a council that has many serious problems to deal with like, a housing crisis, runaway youth unemployment, rising homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse to name a few. Well, they were wrong.

Today is Saturday 14th July. There are crowds of people playing music in the streets of Liverpool without a licence today with the support of the team at http://KeepStreetsLive.com/. The atmosphere is celebratory, but the message is deadly serious, and it is not a petty grievance about a £20 fee. Our online petition has reached over 2500 signatures. We have collected an additional 2000 in paper form. This is an important movement. Our streets belong to the wider community. Narrow interests cannot be allowed to dictate to an entire city what kind of street culture it has. Music and culture are the lifeblood of this city, and the council’s policy sets a terrible precedent and sends a damaging message to the world. But we have stood up and said, ‘No!’. An enormous debate has begun. I would like to know if the media are interested in running a story that brings out the deeper issues here?

Please find attached a copy of the press release I prepared yesterday for the team at Change.Org where our orignal petition is still live and gaining signatures by the hour: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/keep-spontaneous-street-performance-alive

Love,

Jonny Walker

Welcome to Jonny Walker Music

Welcome

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to the new online home for all things Jonny Walker.