Marred by management and inter-band issues that nearly spelt the end, Jordan Allen trapezes over the industry pit with new direction, music and band members.
In the November of 2018, Jordan Allen had just played a run of shows in Toronto, Canada, cementing the beginnings of a transatlantic fan base for the outfit. This was off the back of a Summer which included a This Feeling stage headline set at Isle of Wight Festival and countless other high profile shows. They were flying.
Isle of Wight 2018 © Rhona Murphy
Then all of a sudden, silence. Impatient fans questioned next steps and were met with ambiguity. Surely this meant that an exciting announcement was inbound? Maybe a headline tour? An album even?
Behind the scenes, however, the opposite of excitement was unfolding, as creative disagreements led to the bands departure from Brontone Management (Muse, The Pogues). Further splits from long-term guitarist Danny Quin & Drummer Nathan Howard added to complications, as they moved on to pursue other projects. This left the remaining members, Jordan & Kieran in a predicament of uncertainty as their future swung in the balance. A hiatus was announced and they set aside the next half a year to rebuild on what they had achieved so far.
Fast forward to August 2019 and Jordan Allen has undergone a major revival, as he announces a brand new five-piece outfit, a comeback show at 550 capacity Gorilla in October (which has sold out 3 months in advance) and now reveals his return single ‘Never Give It Up’, out September 20th.
The new five-piece lineup. © Karen Mcbride
The breakneck track immediately bombards the listener with the relentless attack of drums, bass and guitars. It’s a wall of sound which takes no time to introduce a no-frills rawness, making it absolutely clear that this is the direction the newly-independent band are careering towards.
The aptly named ‘Never Give It Up’ is riddled with lyrical turns of phrase that earned Allen his stripes in the past. This time, however, the subject matter is different. Past lyrics which tended to use sticky dancefloor romance and small town antics as a central narrative have been replaced by a matured intuition, only really showcased before on ‘Imperial Leather Drama’. The verse feigns down ‘n outery: “Waste man, slap dash, your life is a car crash/Why bother when there’s nothing left to bother about?” before the crying out of the track title dismisses all notions of insecurity, rousing a chorus that is expected to generate an echoed call to arms amongst fans.
Describing the song, Allen said:
“Never Give It Up’ seems like the perfect track to come back with, because it sums up the grit and desire we’ve had to have in these last 8 months. It’s been one of the hardest times of my life not being able to do what I love most and I’m so glad to be back.”
This gritty new sound is a far cry from the Indie-Pop sensibilities of past two releases ‘Synchronised’ & ‘Naked’ which he has openly recounted his apprehensiveness towards putting out at the time, indicating that this may have been the final straw on the Brontone’s back. Allen gave insight:
“It finally feels like we’ve nailed where I want to be and how I want to sound. It got to the point where we were just being told what we couldn’t do with our music and live shows. Now it finally feels like I have control again. I’ve never felt as confident about material I’ve written.”
New members Ailis Mckay (Drums) and identical twins Kurtis & Kameron Maunder (Guitars) join Allen (Lead Vocals) & Kieran Loughran (Bass) to go forward into the next era of the outfit, who after the Gorilla show on October 26th have the small matter of touring the UK as main support for the critically acclaimed Slow Readers Club.
“We’ve worked so hard to get back here and we are fiercely independent now, we’re doing it all ourselves. I just want to thank everyone that supported us and didn’t let us quit when it got tough. We’re back baby!”
Jordan Allen’s Comeback Single ‘Never Give It Up’ is out 20th September.
GORILLA WARM UP DATES:
XS Manchester Showcase @ Jimmy’s – 11th September
The Brain Tumour Charity Gig @ The Ferret in Preston – 13th September.(not ticketed)
MANCHESTER GORILLA – 26TH OCTOBER WITH SCUTTLERS & URBAN THEORY