New Music

Echoes of a post-nuclear muse – JOHN’s ‘Riddley Scott Walker’

3 mins read

In the shadow of the UK’s industrial fallout, the tightly-knit duo aptly named JOHN unspools yet another track that’s as much an auditory experience as it is a visual spectacle. With the release of ‘Riddley Scott Walker,’ one gets a sense of how deeply ingrained their surroundings are in their craft, and how art and circumstance converge.

From Industrial Decay to Musical Fray

“We currently rehearse next to the ramshackle of an industrial port on the south coast, and we’ve always drawn inspiration from the sites and sounds of this industrial fallout,” – John Newton

The timbre of the streets, the hum of engines in the distant docks, and the rhythmic churning of machinery form the backdrop of JOHN’s inspiration. Such ambient sounds translate into their music, taking form in elements like the mesmerising rhythm of a demolition or the fragmented interruptions of a signal-bound phone call. The landscape they’re enveloped in doesn’t just offer a sonic palette; it’s an integral character in their story.

A Fusion of Cinema and Sound

JOHN by Paul Grace

“Having identified that visual references as just as important as audible ones, we really wanted to continue driving the cinematic leanings of our music.” – John Newton

Riddley Scott Walker‘ isn’t just a track title; it’s a nod to Russell Hoban’s novel ‘Riddley Walker.’ The narrative, set in a post-nuclear war future, draws parallels to the modern ruins that JOHN frequents — both depict societies grappling with decay, the erosion of history, and the challenges of a future informed by a fractured past. Such literary depth embedded within their work underscores JOHN’s commitment to depth and substance over mere sonics.

It’s then no wonder that the collaboration with Barry Adamson, a figure who has also dabbled in cinematic musical escapades, came into being. Their shared affinity for music that paints vivid imagery, evoking senses beyond just the auditory, culminated in this release. Newton’s mention of their music feeling akin to the score of an “imaginary film” resonates more prominently when considering Adamson’s involvement, who’s not only known for his self-described “score to an imaginary film” with ‘Moss Side Story,’ but also for his compositions in David Lynch’s ‘Lost Highway.’

A Continuation of a Grander Narrative

The inclusion of ‘Riddley Scott Walker‘ in their upcoming album, ‘A Life Diagrammatic,’ serves as a testament to JOHN’s evolving sonic architecture. It’s not just an isolated auditory experience; it’s part of a grander narrative that’s been in the making since their earlier works. The leaps they’ve taken since their previous ‘Nocturnal Manoeuvres LP’ — which etched its own significant mark in the UK album chart — indicate a duo on a journey, not just chasing musical trends but weaving intricate tapestries of sound and story.


In essence, JOHN’s music is a sublime blend of their environment, literature, cinema, and, most vitally, their own distinct creative spirit. It’s the kind of music that doesn’t just play; it lives and breathes.

Catch the duo live at the following dates:

Sept 22 — Southsea, UK — Staggeringly Good Brewery (Out-Store)
Sept 23 — Brighton, UK — Resident (In-Store)
Sept 24 — Bristol, UK — Rough Trade Bristol (In-Store)
Sept 28 — Kingston, UK — Banquet Records (In-Store)
Sept 29 — Nottingham, UK — Rough Trade Nottingham (In-Store)
Sept 30 — London, UK — Rough Trade East (In-Store)
Oct 3 — Phoenix, AZ — Linger Longer Lounge
Oct 4 — Los Angeles, CA — The Echo
Oct 5 — Santa Ana, CA — Constellation Room
Oct 7 — San Francisco, CA — Brick and Mortar
Oct 10 — Seattle, WA — Sunset Tavern
Oct 11 — Portland, OR — Mission Theater
Oct 13 — Salt Lake City, UT — The DLC
Oct 14 — Denver, CO — Skylark Lounge
Oct 17 — St. Louis, MO — Off Broadway
Oct 18 — Chicago, IL — Schubas
Oct 20 — Toronto, ON — The Baby G
Oct 21 — Columbus, OH — The Basement
Oct 24 — Philadelphia, PA — Kung Fu Necktie
Oct 25 — Washington, DC — DC9
Oct 26 — Brooklyn, NY — St. Vitus
Nov 11 — London, UK — Pitchfork Festival
Nov 24 — Margate, UK — Where Else
Nov 25 — Cardiff, UK — Clwb Ifor Bach
Dec 1 — Glasgow, UK — Broadcast
Dec 2 — Edinburgh, UK — The Mash House
Dec 8 — Manchester, UK — Deaf Institute
Dec 9 — Bristol, UK — Strange Brew
Dec 10 — Tunbridge Wells, UK — The Forum
Jan 5-7 — Bognor Regis, UK — Rockaway Beach Festival
Feb 9 — Bournemouth, UK — Bear Cave
Feb 16 — Leeds, UK — Brudenell Social Club
Feb 17 — Stowmarket, UK — John Peel Centre
Feb 23 — Brighton, UK — Concorde 2
Feb 24 — Nottingham, UK — Bodega
Feb 29 — London, UK — Scala

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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