In the beginning…
Ardentjohn were a folk 3-piece before they recruited a drummer in early 2005 and set off for a month-long residency in the Italian Alps. Fulfilling a gruelling schedule of two shows a day seven days a week, it was quite simply make-or-break for four lads who hadn’t gigged/lived with each other before. It turned out to be a tremendous experience, one which brought their ideas together and formed the foundation of the band.
Back in the UK
On returning from Italy, the next focus was to start to build a reputable UK presence, doing so by playing together live as often as possible. Despite often having to be crammed into the back of their manager’s car, the guys have managed to rack up an impressive list of venues and gigs across the country. London, Brighton, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow have all featured as they’ve steadily built their fan-base in each of these important UK music city hotspots. More recent appearances at Oran Mor (Glasgow), Liquid Rooms (Edinburgh-supporting the Grim Northern Social) and a headline slot at the 2007 Wickerman Festival have only served to further enhance their reputation as a hot and upcoming band. The famous Bull & Gate in Kentish Town, London had this to say in preview to their London album launch…
“ardentjohn first walked through our doors to play a last minute slot, with two hours notice, mobile phones across the capital were soon aglow as news that Edinburgh's finest were in town for one night quickly spread, dedicated fans arrived in their droves, they filled the room that night and we soon saw why their incredibly catchy perfectly executed sophisticated style could warm the valves on your robbers radio and leave you longing for more. We are thrilled to welcome them back.. They are well on the way to big things so catch them here now!"
Two limited edition singles were released over the summer, which both quickly sold out. This was followed up in September with debut mini-album ‘When the Time Comes’; bringing with it three near sold out launch nights in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Radio and Press
The band have enjoyed some fantastic support from the regional Scottish media, particularly recently where they have been subject of a special feature in Scotland’s leading arts monthly ‘The Skinny’. XFM Scotland has also shown a lot of support for the band with Jim Gellatly (X-Posure) recently choosing the band for his X-Posure Showcase, featuring two tracks from the mini-album on his show every night for a week. XFM, along with BBC Radio Lancashire have also invited band to record a live session towards the end of 2007. The mini-album has drawn great media attention from both music publications and national press so far. Highlights of the bands media coverage to date are copied below.
Hailing from the Edinburgh music scene, where they are garnering a strong reputation since forming in 2005, Ardent John have just released this eight-track mini-album for our delectation. Opening with a lovely, spacey, slowbuilding instrumental, they push into a more delicate set of songs, showing more of the nineties indie influence. As the album progresses, it encompasses hints of The Music, with a willingness to go for the big, psychedelic-tinged growers, as well as tighter, bouncy numbers that play lightly on folk and country influences in a manner similar to the earlier, magpie-era Coral. This is an impressive debut. LONDON TOUR DATES MAGAZINE
"The opening intro to Edinburgh band ardentjohn's debut album is a marching sonic assault that refuses to be ignored. It bleeds into Sleeping Soldier as quite and thoughtful as the intro is brutal.....Legoland Towns was their first single and the tune that brought them to Soundcheck's attention. A jaunty nutcracker of a tune Pete Doherty would go clean for a tune like this. Next up is second single Orange Nights - it's slow burn again utterly different and evoking the epic rock of Snow Patrol or Coldplay. Final tune of eight songs is Synapses a trippy jazz number with dreamy lyrics like: 'I'm feeling so alive/uncertainty has been cleared/as my eyes open to a new world'. A band with a promising future." DAILY RECORD
The Doves are audible on the excellent Orange Nights; Sleeping Soldier is reminiscent of The Verve at their most blissfully zoned out and the Merseybeat/ska persuasions of Legoland Towns are inescapable. Credit to Ardentjohn then for producing an album that whilst heavily influenced, is far from recycled. From the seamless, dream-like quality that binds the opening tracks to the harmonious unashamedly melodic Hide Your Mind; When the Time Comes is great while it lasts. An enjoyable and promising first outing THE SKINNY MAG