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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




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credit Andy Willsher

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Photo credit: Sarah Millican

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Pic by Grant

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(c) The Unthanks 2018

The Emily Brontë Song Cycle is a new work commissioned by the Brontë Society, written and recorded using Emily Brontë’s piano in her home, by composer, pianist and producer Adrian McNally of the band The Unthanks, and performed with sisters Rachel & Becky Unthank.

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