Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 23 November 2016

The Spirit Of Father Christmas Is Alive & Well In The Hands Of Former Geist Frontman Jon McDevitt

Jon McDevitt has suffered for your pleasure, you owe him at least a listen in return. From the still smouldering ashes of Brighton Magazine favourite's Geist, comes a solo offering with all the seasonal flavouring and cheer of an artist happy in his own skin.

The once much-loved collective had spent much of the last decade refining both sound and line-up, as well as releasing their defining album,  Decreasing Circles, which came courtesy of a lyrical bile that was wrapped-up in a melodic overcoat of such beauty .. that listeners will be humming its eleven tracks until judgement day - and beyond. 

But now the band's frontman and writer, McDevitt, is returning (backed by a band which is essentially the final incarnation of Geist) with Father Christmas; a song described as both 'simultaneously reflective and sing-along, a two-and-a-half minute jaunt with a fiddle solo and a short chorus' that is guaranteed to get stuck in your head after a couple of listens. 

McDevitt's sound is still infused with his influences, which he lists as: 

"Once it would have been The Beatles, Tom Petty and The Smiths, or Bob Dylan, Dexys and The Pogues, but I think now people like Leonard Cohen, Suzanne Vega and Paul Simon, just for the sheer craft of what they do.  

"The others still play a part though. We like to do some things with a little more oomph where we can." 

John McDevitt 'Father Christmas'

Of the current band Matt and Stu Francis (bass and drums) grew up in Crawley (now Burgess Hill and Bahrain), as did Dave Coston who recently moved to Brighton, having lived in Shoreham for several years.  

Neill Tupman the guitarist lives in Horsham.  The violinist is Anna Jenkins, who has played with The Unthanks, Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo, and Frank Turner, including his performance at the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.  

McDevitt is  a local musician (East Grinstead based) who does musical entertainment and therapy at care homes all over Sussex. One of his main strengths is his harmonies:

"I learned how to sing harmonies to The Everlys and The Beatles (with some direction from my Mum) and it"s been fairly constant ever since."

The track - Father Christmas - which is available now - is due to be playlisted on Runway (Crawley / Gatwick), Meridian (East Grinstead), Croydon Radio and Uckfield FM. 

'Father Christmas' - by Jon McDevitt- will be available on Amazon, i-Tunes and other streaming sites and the video is available HERE

by: Mike Cobley




Share    


A play about the life of Manchester Arena bomb victim Martyn Hett is set to come to the Brighton Fringe almost one year since the tragic event.
Pic by Andy Sturmey

Riding the wave of success and universal critical acclaim for their most recent album, F.E.A.R, Marillion graced the stage at Brighton Dome last night (16/4/18) and served up an epic and confident display of prog.

Superorganism is a London-based, eight person collective of international musicians and pop culture junkies from Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, who have, in just eighteen months, amassed a global fan base and acclaimed début album. 

Spymonkey's Stephan Kreiss will join Scottish actor Pauline Knowles in the world première of Problem in Brighton, a brand new alt-rock/pop pantomime written and directed by Brighton Festival 2018 Guest Director David Shrigley.

He's still the undisputed champion of Superbike; the most successful rider ever in the sport's history. Now Carl Fogarty is fifteen years into a retirement that has seen him be crowned King of the Jungle and trek across Patagonia, but, as for any former champion, giving up the sport that made him a household name has been no easy task.
(c) Delaram Pourabi

TT, also known as Theresa Wayman, vocalist and guitarist of Warpaint, has unveiled lead single I've Been Fine, in the run up to début album, LoveLaws

Brighton's Sallis Benney Theatre is set to showcase Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution, the thought provoking film that aims to encourage local students and residents to consider their current attitudes and behaviour towards sex, consent and gender.

The first glimpse of Brighton Festival 2018 is to be unveiled at Fabrica this weekend, in the form of David Shrigley's interactive installation, Life Model II.

Isaac Gracie's eponymous début album is the sound of an artist bit-by-bit breaking through the hype and the seeds of doubt that stem from the heavy expectation that greeted breakthrough song Last Words.
Photo by Bryan Kremkau

It was always a pleasure for The Brighton Magazine to host The Beat's Dave Wakeling, when he performed in the city as part of the 3 Men & Black collective (alongside Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers and Pauline Black and Nick Welsh from The Selecter).

Singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid, who recently played The Greys, in Brighton, has teamed up with award-winning filmmaker Brett Harvey for a music video/short film based on the poignant true story of Bill Conner, a father who lost his daughter and cycled 1,400 miles to hear her heart beating again in the body of its recipient. 

At the height of the Industrial Revolution, Falkirk's iron and steel industry bore the town three primary exports: carronades, pillar boxes, and buses. 

When people who have 'made it' are asked what they can thank for their transformation, few people would cite cancer, near poverty or isolation.

After setting up her label Seahorse Music to publish records by like-minded women and help make them more visible in a male-dominated industry, Bryde finished up her debut LP, Like An Island, flitting, between London and LA. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd