"Here are lyrical concerns which reflect the ordinary world of slippers, tea, biscuits and visits to Chester Zoo, always within the context of faith. John's is a big voice: bizarre, surreal and anarchic, a voice reminiscent of Ian Curtis of Joy Division, of Nick Cave (of the Bad Seeds)." - Cross Rhythms Radio
- Johnjames emerged from the cobbled streets of East Lancashire - as a new musical adventure, spending the early part busking in some pretty obscure locations such as: Beacon Cove Beach, Torquay and Mount Snowdon.
- As well as musical influences including Jon Foreman, Joe Strummer, Frank Turner, Michael Kiwanuka, Iron & Wine and many more; Johnjames takes its inspiration from the books, random cups of tea... faith & life ... never needing an excuse to play, so if you happen to come across us on the street, stage, in a cafe, church or pub etc... stop by and join in the dance.
Faith, Music, Art!
From the Beginning...
Johnjames Bruce started as a humble side project idea under the name ‘Tonightspeaks’ when inspired by Mark Ronson’s ‘Version’ album. Back then, Johnjames wanted to unleash new song ideas after spending 10 years playing his only musical instrument at the time, the trusty bass guitar.
With the announcement ‘The Irrelevants’, a punk band who he played bass for would play a final gig as their 10 year anniversary, and ‘Finding Street Lights’ a heavy rock project at the time, not quite taking off, He suddenly found himself out of the band scene and almost instantly got itchy feet and set himself the challenge of learning new instruments, and for the first time, using his own vocals in order to write an album, whilst involving the musical support of close friends.
In 2017 ‘Tonightspeaks’ became ‘Phonicscene.’ and Johnjames found himself learning guitar, ukulele and applying influences such as Frank Turner and Jon Foreman wrote a more acoustic guitar lead album.
In the midst of recording what would have the first planned album, ‘Staring at the Sunlight,’ Things where put on hold following a host of unforeseen circumstances and the birth of his first son.
During this time new songs where written, recorded and produced by pro-rec productions, Manchester and became the debut Album 'Home' which was released on the 3rd February 2018. In which single 'You shouldn't be there' was nominated for the A Step fwd March 2018 U.K. Christian music charts.
In April 2018 'phonicscene' had another name change and simply became 'johnjames bruce' and featured on the flame radio drive home show, played his first busking slot at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
During 2019 Johnjames set to work on re-recording and releasing his album Staring at the sunlight as a collaborative album with Belljar music, with two singles, 'Broken me' and 'Light in the tunnel' being released on all streaming sites and the full album bring released via bandcamp & noisetrade, Johnjames also enjoyed playing various events & festivals in his local area and beyond, including the St Annes music and arts festival, 'punk 4 the homeless' in Nottingham and the North West Annual Air soft festival, Chester.
2020 has so far been an adventure never experienced before, starting with the birth of his second son and Johnjames Bruce recording stripped back acoustic versions of the 'Staring at the sunlight' tracks, which were released as the 'Together' E.P. on all streaming sites, the plan and schedule was to play and busk as many places as possible, connect with old friends, meet and make new friends along the way, but sadly these plans have been put on hold due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Though not wanting to slow down, Johnjames has worked hard to fulfill and play more live performances via online streams.
Keen to keep the creative and writing, Johnjames also wrote, and self produced 'The Declaration' a 6 track E.P. consisting of four songs and for the first time two spoken word pieces. Which was premiered via his Facebook and Youtube channels on the 11th July 2020.
In 2021 Johnjames looks forward to releasing his second studio album 'Mountains' this album is another lyrically authentic heart on sleeve album in which johnjames is starting to carve a name for himself.
For this album Johnjames had the privilege of working with producer Dan Stirling (Dan Stirling Audio) to help him draw from his acoustic folk/roots and Post punk/alternative rock influences to create a truly unique sounding album.
Never wanting to keep still Johnjames Bruce is continually looking to develop his new musical venture and being a firm believer that live music is a community event, Johnjames thoroughly enjoys sharing his music, story & adventure's with you lovely people ... so here goes... lets grasp it with both hands, a smile, a guitar ... another cup of tea, cold pint...And have a knee's up.
Faith, Music, Art!