Feature: Faithful Johannes – A Look Back At 2019 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Over the past twelve months, our magazine and website have been brimming with super-talented, creative souls. We asked a few of them to tell us about their 2019, including barely-rap megastar Faithful Johannes

So, how was your 2019?
Full of unexpected surprises.  I came into the year without much of a plan but will have ended up playing 23 (I think) shows in all sorts of weird and wonderful places, had a few spins on 6Music, put an album and two one-off singles out, performed in The Sage, on an outdoor stage bigger than my house at Hardwick Live, played more in beautiful Boro with lovely people – it’s all been swell. I’m grateful.

What was your best moment?
My album launch, hometown show in the tiny basement at The Holy GrAle in Durham, it sold out (it is tiny) and Ben and Gary from Slow Decades did a beautiful supporting set. I tried my hardest and we all had fun.

And your worst moment?
Pffff.  Probably my ironing board (which I use as a stand for all my stage gear) collapsing before I supported Life Model at The Cumberland Arms and my laptop breaking into two pieces… then when the ironing board broke terminally in rehearsal.  I have a new ironing board now, it was marked up as £30 but went through the till at £15, so there’s a happy ending to this tale of woe.

Your favourite band/artist of the year?
Locally Mt Misery’s EP was near perfect and they are just great live too. Me Lost Me’s EP, The Lay of the Land was boss, she keeps getting better and better.  Spotify tells me I listen to more Why? this year than anyone else and I think they got that right, their new record AOKOHIO was my favourite of the year. I also enjoyed Lealani’s Fantastic Planet album and Serengeti’s Quail EP of pop-rap makes me happy – and that’s important.

Your favourite song of the year?
No Problems by Serengeti

Favourite TV show of the year?
I was really enjoying Motherland but then they took it off the i-player before I saw the whole series – can you sort that out for me?

Your favourite film?
I don’t really get to the cinema at the minute, Shoplifters is my favourite film I’ve watched this year, but I think it came out in 2018.

Best book you read?
Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, I re-read it this year about a decade after I first read it.  It was even better, but I still had to read ‘that bit’ with my eyes almost completely closed.

Favourite venue of the year?
Cobalt Studios in Newcastle. 

What was your favourite gig/show of the year?
Nel Unlit were mind-blowing at Stockton Calling and I’m really excited for their album release in February and associated full line up live shows.  They had two drummers and a Ben.

Any upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for in 2020?
The local bands I’ve mentioned above and also Badger – they are a bit like me, but different and danceable. And half of them wear shiny gold trousers.

And finally, what has next year got in store for you?
I’m not really sure NARC. I just hope people keep asking me to play shows.  There’s a couple of projects in the works, so hopefully some more new music.  And I’ll have my fourth annual Christmas single out next December.

Catch FJ perform at Bobiks, Newcastle on December 28th.

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