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- JohnJames Bruce is a solo acoustic singer-songwriter, journeying with his sound of alternative acoustic rock providing a unique blend of rawness, energy and intimacy.
- Emerging from the cobbled streets of East Lancashire, Johnjames, spent the early part busking in some pretty obscure locations such as: Beacon Cove Beach, Torquay and Mount Snowdon.
- As well as musical influences that include Jon Foreman, Leonard Cohen, Frank Turner and many more (Click here for a Spotify playlist of who he's currently listening to); Johnjames also takes its inspiration from the books, random cups of tea, faith & life.
Faith, Music, Art!
Photo by Lauren Bruce
From the Beginning...
Johnjames Bruce started as a humble side project idea under the name 'Phonicscene'. Back then, Johnjames wanted to unleash new song ideas after spending over 10 years playing his only musical instrument at the time, the trusty bass guitar.
With the announcement ‘The Irrelevants’, a punk band which he played bass for would be marking their 10 year anniversary by playing their final show, 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 and record an album within 12 months, whilst involving the musical support of close friends.
In the midst of recording what would have the first planned album, ‘Staring at the Sunlight,’ Things were 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 the 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 a name change and simply became 'Johnjames Bruce' who 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 the single, 'Broken me' being released on all streaming sites.
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 Northwest Annual Air soft festival, Chester.
2020 was an adventure never experienced before, starting with the birth of his second son and Johnjames Bruce worked on stripped back DIY acoustic recordings of the previously planned '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 and meet new friends along the way, but sadly these plans needed to be put on hold due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Not wanting to slow down, Johnjames worked hard to fulfil his bookings and play more live performances via online streams while working his then full-time day job for the NHS.
With creativity and writing being a tool he uses to stay mentally grounded, Johnjames also wrote, recorded and provided the visuals for another DIY project '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.
Later that year, Johnjames 'bubbled' with producer Dan Stirling to record another studio album, 'Mountains' which was released during 2021 starting with a number of singles being released from the 29th January 2021 before the full album release coming in November 2021.
Since then, Johnjames has jumped back on the live performances, playing this album and sharing the stories across a variety of events and festivals including Langworthy Live and Glaston-Bury.
Johnjames Bruce is continually looking and develop as an artist and being a firm believer that live music and art is a community event, that can be used as a uniting force to inspire hope and love. Johnjames thoroughly enjoys sharing his music, stories & adventure, and hearing stories of other people's adventures... so here goes, lets grasp it with both hands, a smile, guitar... another cup of tea or beer, and together let's enjoy what this journey brings.
Faith, Music, Art!
for further information or bookings please don't hesitate to contact us using the form below,
Social Media links
Instagram - @johnjamesbruce
Twitter - @johnjamesbruce
youtube - John James Bruce
bandcamp - johnjamesbruce.bandcamp
Spotify - johnjames bruce
Media coverage and reviews
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). 7/10 -
Cross Rhythms Radio (review on debut album home) read the full review here