|Surrounding the release of his brand new album ‘The Divided Kingdom’ on 12th April, JOHN FAIRHURST will tour the UK this April. The 13 date tour will visit cities including Manchester, London, Cardiff and Bristol, full dates listed below.
London-based John Fairhurst makes heavy blues for heavy times. In equal parts revealing, vulgar, cathartic and thrilling, the virtuoso guitarist is channelling the discontent felt in the western world to pay tribute to – and to update – the very idea of rock n roll as protest music. And he’s not here to mince his words on his first album in 6 years, ’The Divided Kingdom’. “Personal greed has far outstripped the need to support the health of society. British politics is a farce. The Government are liars”, states Fairhurst. Powerful statements require powerful music. And it is with ragged glory that ‘The Divided Kingdom’ articulates its point of view.
“I feel that as an artist, I myself am duty bound to comment upon the times in which we live. Rather than avoid the topics of the day, I have decided to face them head on,” comments Fairhurst. “I think a lot of people are unhappy with the current state of affairs in this country and the world over. I hope to comment on that through the lens of my own life and the lives of the people around me and the people I meet on my travels.”
Created with his partner in crime, Bristolian drummer Toby Murray, ‘The Divided Kingdom’ evangelizes the power of rock n roll through sheer bloody performance. Drawing from the same sonic well that brought us Black Sabbath, Tom Waits, Rage Against the Machine and Captain Beefheart, tracks like ‘Blood & Fire’, ‘Fear’ and ‘Lies and a .45’ prowl with a fury rarely heard in a two-piece, grabbing reality as it sees it and lays it bare for all to see, warts and all, over a heady 37 minutes.
Fairhurst – hailed by Acoustic Guitar Magazine USA as one of the Top 3 Resonator guitar players worldwide – and Murray recorded ‘The Divided Kingdom’ in part in their own studio, That Sound Studio, which was built in 2018 by the pair, their friend Pawel Lach and a multinational group of friends. This freedom to create at their own pace empowered Fairhurst and Murray to dig deeply into themselves and soon a theme for the album started to emerge. Outside of the socio-political theme evoked by the lyrics, the key challenge was finally achieving the duo’s vision as a compact two-piece. Setting out a musical palette on record that sounded in control, huge, powerful and exciting.
“The proof of the pudding is in the drum sound. That is the key. The Engine. The room was literally festooned with mics, capturing everything from the front, the rear, overhead the kit, plus the room itself and interesting and useful frequencies captured in nooks, crannies and corners. As luck, experience, lots of messing around and persistence would have it, the kit sound is awesome.”
Similar attention to detail was spent on the guitars, as you may expect from Fairhurst. “For the guitars, we took a carpet bomb approach. Loads of amps and cabs of all different sizes, loads of pedals, lots of mics, everything isolated in amp boxes. I had different pedal chains running to different amp set ups and an array of guitars” John explains.
‘The Divided Kingdom’ stands as a tribute to the pair’s passion for music and their ever-deepening relationship. “A true partnership. Toby is my best friend and my brother. We know each other better than anyone. This is our album, this is our life.”
“After 6 long years, having started as a two-piece, we finally nailed the two-piece thing,” Fairhurst summarises. “We just finished the long awaited and difficult second album. We are happy with it. We are playing better than ever. We are comfortable and relaxed. We are ready. Bring it on!”
The Divided Kingdom
Blood & Fire
Hungry Blues (Slight Return)
Lies and a .45
Going To See My Baby
We Dance the Merry Dance
Weds 10th April – Gullivers, Manchester
Fri 12th April – The Old Courts, Wigan
Sat 13th April – The Globe, Glossop
Sun 14th April – The Flying Circus, Newark
Wed 17th April – The Monarch, Camden, London
Thurs 18th April – Con Club, Lewes
Fri 19th April – Madding Crowd, Bournemouth
Sat 20th April – The Moon, Cardiff
Sun 21st April – The Purple Turtle, Reading
Wed 24th April – Patchwork Studios, Millbrook
Thurs 25th April – The Watering Hole, Perranporth
Fri 26th April – Old Market Assembly, Bristol
Sat 27th April – The King Arthur, Glastonbury