October Update – One in, One out

The Janskys, Shakespeares, 16th Oct 2013 (original photo by Craig Allen)

 

Well, October has turned into somewhat of a topsy turvy kind of a month.

An extra gig added at short notice and a long planned appearance cancelled at even shorter notice.

In recent months we have been in contact Sheffield based promoters Wagon Wheel Media and a couple of weeks ago they got in touch to offer The Janskys a wonderful support opportunity at Shakespeares in Sheffield playing with touring American acts Eef Barzelay of indie Americana band Clem Snide and Chris Otepka of The Heligoats.

The evening of Wednesday 16th October turned into a great night with Pat and Damian chuffed to be on the same bill as such talented understated song smiths as Eef and Chris.  Intimate performances in front of an appreciative audience.  Wonderful.

Next morning Damian was struck down with a cough and cold which took the wind out of his sails and the voice out of his throat.  Let’s blame those Americans picking up and passing on autumnal cold bugs as they wend their way around the British Isles ;-).   Anyway, hoping things would improve by Sunday 20th October for the scheduled Oxjam performance which was booked months ago, The Janskys decided on the day itself to cancel as things had not improved and their current set depends more than ever on the interplay of vocals between Pat and Damian.   Sure the old man’s on the mend now….

 

More News soon….  wishing you all well.

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September Update – New Gig / New LP Review

With the last hurrah of summer squeezed out it’s time to look forward to the turning colours of autumn.   Working hard at their studio HQ, The Janskys are currently writing new material and are hoping to play a selection of shows between now and the end of the year.  After a great night at The Green Room at the start of the month as part of Sheffield Sound’s 1st Anniversary celebrations the band will be appearing live again in October.

On Sunday 20th October Pat and Damian will be playing a set as part of Oxjam Steel City’s all day Takeover event.  Full details can be found here: https://www.sawayakasheffield.org.uk/live-shows/

The Janskys live at Sheffield Sound’s 1st Anniversary celebrations – The Green Room 4th Sept 2013 (photo by Gerard Morgan)

 

Also, the slow burn of the recently released LP WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS continues with another review surfacing, this time in the printed pages of R2 Magazine.  The publication comes out every two months and the review can be found in the September/October issue.

Details of the review can be found here: https://www.sawayakasheffield.org.uk/reviews/r2-rock-n-reel-septemberoctober-2013-volume-2-issue-41/

For those of you still to pick up a copy of the LP you can do so here: https://www.sawayakasheffield.org.uk/shop/

Sawayaka Sheffield and The Janskys really appreciate your continued support and hope to clink a pint glass with you at some point down the line.

All The Best

 

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Green Man 2013 – Diary and Review

Having not been away to a festival for more than ten years it was with some trepidation that I ventured back onto the scene to visit the 11th Green Man Festival in the beautiful surroundings of the Brecon Beacons. My good friends F and PB, both Green Man regulars, persuaded me to consider going and once I saw the line up I was sold: Band of Horses! Midlake! Low!

Having decided that my old trustee Glastonbury tent was just a little too brittle and consisting more of gaffa tape than tent fabric, I made the move of purloining one of those new pop up tents with easy pull cord for repacking… Demoed by a helpful young man in the shop – Sold to the old man with the beard.

Arriving on site about 5pm on Thursday we managed to gain a spot close enough to the car park and main arena and close enough, but not too close, to some toilets (we’re all old enough to occasionally need to take a wander to the little room in the night).

F had brought enough provisions from Sainsburys to open a franchise with, I kid you not, fresh herbs including basil, FLAT leaf parsley and mint – just how middle class can we get?  Anyway PB ‘King of Camping’ had put up his bell tent (similar to a teepee but with one large central pole) before I’d even got my pop up out of its pristine bag.  After some fine dining we headed into the festival which has grown from 300 capacity in its first year to 20,000 now (please don’t get any bigger).

Note the freshly torn Basil… (photo by DS)

Thursday evening had a gentle start with just a few acts on in the Far Out tent at the top of the site including a beautiful intimate acoustic set from the legend that is Patti Smith.  Her performance included a touching version of John Lennon’s ‘Beautiful Boy’.

Friday was the day to start exploring the site as all sections were up and running and the sun was keen to keep us company for the duration.  The site itself was thoughtfully laid out making the most of its natural setting and had a very family friendly feel with areas such as Einstein’s Garden offering a wealth of stimulation for the young and inquisitive.  As you’d expect some interesting stalls and food outlets as well as a good smattering of beer tents including one – oh this just gets better – hosting the first Green Man Beer and Cider festival.  And what’s this? A Rough Trade shop tent, this could be dangerous… Must keep wallet in pocket.

Sculpture in Einstein’s Garden (photo by DS)

First off was a visit to the Talking Shop tent to see the reliably bonkers and thoroughly engaging Julian Cope talking about his Copendium of the rock n roll underworld and revealing snippets of his forthcoming first novel.

The sundrenched Mountain main stage saw a soothing set from California’s Julia Holter with an off kilter jazzy classical gently ambient set.  Next up was an uplifting country gospel soulful mix of songs from the wonderful Phosphorescent.  Main man Matthew Houck is effortlessly cool and the album ‘Muchacho’ is highly recommended.

The Mountain Stage (photo by DS)

Later, on the main stage Edwyn Collins held court and his set was top notch with the tightest band you can imagine and a voice of honey that sounds as good as it ever did.  Edwyn’s son William rather nervously joined his dad for a lovely duet on ‘In your Eyes’ and a special mention must go to guitarist James Walbourne whose solo on set closer ‘A Girl Like You’ was just incredible.

Then a stroll up the hill to the Far Out tent to catch the end of Darkstar’s set whose comedown vibes were a bit muddied in the mix to my ears unfortunately.

We then raced back to the Mountain stage for a solid sounding harmony drenched set from Midlake.  The Denton, Texas band’s performance came hot on the heels of the official announcement of lead singer and songwriter Tim Smith’s departure so I was intrigued to see how the band would fare.  While Eric Pulido has a quite lovely voice (almost too lovely) the guitarist and now lead singer lacks Tim Smith’s vocal fragility and tension as the main focus.  Musically though the sound was more varied, if a little measured, than previous shows I’ve seen, as in the past Tim Smith seemed to mould the sound of the set to suit his latest stylistic interests.

Back up at The Far Out tent I caught the second half of Portico Quartet’s performance.  Their mix of jazz and dance beats using sax, double bass, guitar drones, electronic and acoustic percussion was just dizzying and a wonder to watch.

On record I like the gentle harmonious acoustic work of The Kings of Convenience but for me their headline slot on the main outdoor stage at 11pm was an odd choice.

Finally I wandered up to the Cinema tent for the last official Fence Collective curated event, with main man Johnny Lynch announcing that the label would be relaunched under the guise of Lost Map.  With this knowledge I wandered down the hill to my bed, well a slightly uncomfortable air mattress to be more precise.

We’d heard that the weather was going to do a U-turn and the prediction was right with a fine mist of rain slowly and subtlely soaking our Saturday.  Memories of the previous day’s sun seemed to carry the mood of the gathered revellers though.

Rain, pah! (photo by DS)

F would disappear early each morning to get a paper and a cup of tea from the ‘Strumpets with Crumpets’ – a stall run by women in basques serving hot beverages and the aforementioned snack.  F drunk a lot of tea over the weekend.

Hoping to get into the stage areas before midday was never going to happen as PB ‘the chef’ was determined to give us a cooked breakfast each morning to sustain our hours of walking across beautiful countryside wondering what musical strains to listen to next.

Once again I started in the Talking Shop tent, catching the tail end of John Cale in conversation.  Still somewhat bleary eyed at two o’clock in the afternoon meant I found it hard to concentrate beyond the sound of his unusual Welsh-American twang but did learn that he produced both The Stooges and The Happy Mondays debut albums almost twenty years apart.  Must find out more about Mr Cale.

From the hoarey to mere striplings – Girls Names a Belfast band whose sparce mix of guitars and keyboards reminded me of early Cure and a more aggressive XX.  Arbouretum followed as an afternoon nap called and their slow heavy psychedelic country provided a nice soundtrack to my interrupted dreams.

The Far Out tent (photo by DS)

Wandering back down the hill we encountered the wonderfully intense Low.  The Minnesota trio produced the most wonderful blend of epic tunes which moved from near silence to near guitar carnage with the most heavenly harmonies from husband and wife Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker.  Their reading of Neil Young’s ‘Down By The River’ was so slow and desolate I didn’t recognise it til the chorus was nearly over.  Beautiful.

After refuelling back at our PB’s restaurant I wandered back in to catch a bit of comedy in the Talking Shop tent happening across Charlie Webster who looked a little bit like someone you’d move away from at a bus stop and he played up to this when an ‘unfortunate’ in the audience guessed a quiz question correctly, Webster then donned a wig over his bald pate revealing the prize was a lap dance by him for the ‘lucky’ winner.  Disturbing.  Comedy singer/guitarist Gavin Osborne offered simple tunes – including one describing trying to spice up his marriage by sharing a bath with his loved one; his love for his wife would actually be proven by revealing that he never wanted to do this again.

Back at the Mountain main stage The Horrors’ light show must have left many a punter twitching, and as I staggered blinking through the crowd trying not to trip over those seated, the mix of brooding voice and use of eighties synth sounds (in a good way) somehow kept me there.  I wanted to be here anyway for what came next…. Only BAND OF HORSES!!

Band of Horses are up next… (photo by DS)

Lead by the endearing frontman Ben Bridwell the band tore through a set covering their four albums. Their mix of country rock, indie and punk spirit always leaves a big smile on my face and the band always look as if they are loving every minute.  At one point Ben asked the crowd how had his band come to headline a festival like this and stated that Green Man should be congratulated for putting together such a good line up.  No arguments there.  I must mention the rustic and natural world stills and moving images projected behind the band which pulled you into Band Of Horses’ world even further.

Highlights were ‘Is There A Ghost’ from the LP Cease To Begin, a wonderful down home ‘Neighbour’ with 3 part harmonies from Ben, Tyler Ramsey and Ryan Munroe huddled around one mic and the electric piano, and of course the wonderful set closer, ‘Funeral’.

I’d read much about John Hopkins and was interested in seeing him even though he wasn’t on til 1am (huh?) in the Far Out tent.  His set was far more hard core dance driven and less melodic than I had hoped but I would probably have gotten more from it had I had more energy to dance rather than just standing there nodding my head.  Free dance enthusiast PB loved it… as did F, probably high on tea and crumpets.

Sunday: the sun is back hurrah!  An even slower start back at the ranch finally hauling myself to into the stage area about 3pm, shocking, anyone would think I was on holiday…

Met up with some other friends at the Mountain main stage to see to folk trio Lau, who produced an infectious big sound with just accordion, guitar and fiddle.  Rushed back up to the Far Out tent with my feet now on auto-pilot as I wanted to see Brooklyn’s Woods of whom I’d read good things.  Starting with Byrds-y jangle the singer’s high voice grated a wee bit making things a bit twee for me.  But then as the set progressed the band opened up into some psychedelic krautrock grooves which really hit the spot.

Vertically Far Out as Woods get psychedelic (photo by DS)

Back to the friends who were still relaxing at the main stage and it was on their recommendation I checked out Johnny Flynn.  This young man is obviously a major talent whose jazzy country bluesy laid back tunes suited the Sunday afternoon perfectly.  Audible tuts of jealousy were heard when Johnny, who is also an accomplished actor, proceeded to pick up a trumpet for a solo before returning to the guitar.

Back at the….. yes that’s correct, Far Out tent, the spirit of Jimi Hendrix was alive and well in the hands of Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

At this point it felt that a break of tradition was needed so PB and I headed down to the Walled Garden, which had the vibe of a festival within a festival, some kind of secret place.  Not so secret though as it was packed for band of the moment Public Service Broadcasting.  I like the concept of looped newsreel style received pronunciation over a krautrock groove with eighties synth sounds but it’s hard to know where the band will go next.  Also they probably could have been on a bigger stage as, from where we were stood near the back, the PA didn’t have enough oomph so the sound seemed lacklustre.

I have seen British Sea Power on several occasions and have been left disappointed a couple of times having witnessed a brace of meandering performances.  However, for me their Sunday evening show in the Far Out tent was spot on.  A tight powerful set with theatrical flair and amazing lighting and projections was coupled with both a black bear and polar bear walking amongst the crowd.  Their music is unique, although very much in the older school indie tradition they really don’t sound like anyone else.  Clever lyrics, epic tunes and an intellectual passion.

British Sea Power in full flow (photo by DS)

Walled Garden again, careful now, caught a snippet of Half Moon Run a Canadian band with some poppy grooves.  Green Man Growler real ale going down well.

Ok there’s nothing left for it but to face Swans up at the Far Out tent.  Recommended as essential I have heard that they can be terrifying.  They were in fact terrifying – Michael Gira steering and conducting his ensemble through an avant garde semi improvised canvas of gutteral percussive loud-as-hell soundscapes.  All the instruments seemed to be used to create brutal loping, grinding grooves which seemed to grow ever so slightly more melodic as the set wore on.  At one point I ran away for churros and hot chocolate for comfort before returning to the bedlam.  At the end I can’t say I enjoyed it but felt very alive having witnessed it.

After watching the traditional burning of The Green Man himself (a sculpture of twigs, branches and leaves, not a real person) I still felt the need to come down from where I’d been left dangling by Michael Gira’s noiseniks, so headed to the Comedy tent to settle my shattered mind before a final Green Man sleep.

Holiday now required.

PS: somehow the only purchase I made from the Rough Trade shop was joint one with F.  We bought PB a signed book of poetry by Patti Smith as a thank you for his Michelin starred efforts.

DS

 

 

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Janskys’ drummer in London-Paris charity bike ride

Live is where they really come into their own, and they look thoroughly humbled to be onstage playing their carefully crafted songs in a manner that was tighter than Bradley Wiggins shorts.

From TOAST, issue 40, live review of The Janskys.

On closer inspection the comment linking The Janskys to cycling royalty Sir Bradley Wiggins is more appropriate than you’d think.  It is well known amongst the band’s inner circles that singer Pat is a keen cyclist having completed the coast to coast (C2C) cross Pennine trail last year and already completing two Triathlons this year.  Producer Colin has also been known to head out into the countryside on a two wheeled vehicle with no motor racking up many miles for…   fun?

Now, it turns out Liam, the band’s drummer,  has been picking up the cycling bug too building up his calves and thighs on the quiet and will be undertaking an epic London to Paris charity bike ride on 4th-8th September.2013-05-24 12.25.13

Here’s Liam to explain:
I will cycling from London to Paris to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.  They are UK based charity that provide infomation, research education and support for people, families and friends affected by MS.  I work as a Multilple Sclerosis Nurse Specialist in Sheffield and have first hand experience of this autoimmune disease that affects some 100, 000 people in the UK. 

For more information contact www.mstrust.org.uk

I have never in my life tried anything like this before and it’s something I have to do not only for myself but for people with MS.  Please donate what you can as I ‘haul my ass’ across France “.

If you’d like to sponsor Liam please do so here:
uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/liamrice

Liam will be swopping the drummer's stool for a bike saddle for 4 days - OUCH! (photo by Kitty)

Liam will be swopping the drummer’s stool for a bike saddle for 4 days – OUCH! (photo by Kitty)

Another part of Liam’s fundraising efforts is an evening of live soul, blues and Motown on Friday 16th August at the Cross Scyths Pub www.crossscythes.co.uk, under the guise of Dee & The Myelinations
featuring Moony and Kitty from Liam’s other band Speed For Lovers and Stu from The Sharpbeats (& recently seen playing bass for The Janskys) and guests.  So get on down to get on down!

deeandthemyelinations

We wish Liam all the best in his amazing efforts for a fantastic cause.  All we ask is that he keeps the lycra for the saddle and not the drummer’s stool…. Seriously, Pat doesn’t need any encouragement to introduce the stretchy rather unflattering fabric into The Janskys stage wear!!

Addendum: With regards to cycling and not wanting to be left out, Damian has revealed that he watched some of the cycling on TV at last year’s Olympics and that his house is on the proposed route when the Tour de France wends its way through Yorkshire in 2014.

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New Live Review & more photos from launch gig

Following the success of last month’s LP launch gig for WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS by The Janskys at Shakespeares, we thought we’d share a few more of Gerard Morgan’s photographs of the evening to tie in with the publication of the August issue of TOAST magazine which features a review of the night in question.
The Janskys L-R: Liam, Pat, Stu, Damian  (photo by Gerard F Morgan)

The Janskys L-R: Liam, Pat, Stu, Damian (photo by Gerard F Morgan)

Rhys Bethell accompanied by Laura Thompson (photo by Gerard F Morgan)

Rhys Bethell accompanied by Laura Thompson (photo by Gerard F Morgan)

The Janskys at Shakespeares 12th July 2013 (photo by Gerard F Morgan)

The Janskys at Shakespeares 12th July 2013 (photo by Gerard F Morgan)

Since the launch gig our good friend and special guest on the night, Rhys Bethell,  has moved to Newcastle on his next big adventure and we wish him and Rosie all the best further up country.

The free issue 40 of TOAST Magazine is widely available throughout Sheffield.  The online version of the review can be read here:
http://www.toastmagazine.net/reviews/live/the-janskys-the-shakespeare-12713/

Currently the band is taking a few weeks off after a hectic few months. Pat has headed off to Cornwall for a spot of surfing, Damian will be heading to the Green Man Festival and Liam is preparing for his bike trek from London to Paris on 4th September in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust (more about this in our next blog).

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WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS now also available as digital only release

Since its release on 29th June WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS has been available on CD from Record Collector and Rare & Racy in Sheffield and through our online shop.

Working with our partners at the Sheffield based AWAL digital distribution, the LP is now available in digital-only formats across many platforms including iTunes, Amazon and others.

Obviously we would encourage you to buy the  CD package from our website shop (in conjunction with Bandcamp).  The CD includes a beautifully presented gatefold card case with original artwork by Mark Conway.  Your order also includes immediate download of the 12-track album in your choice of high-quality MP3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.

Should you wish to purchase a digital-only version of the LP you can do so below.

When Silence Speaks - The Janskys

Amazon

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The Janskys at Tramlines 2013

Tramlines

Following last Friday’s successful WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS LP launch gig at Shakespeares, The Janskys will be playing a series of stripped back acoustic gigs across this Tramlines weekend:

Thursday 18th July 9.30pm, The Museum, Orchard Square

Saturday 20th July 2pm, The Old House, Devonshire Street

Sunday 21st July 3.45pm, Outside Stage at Henry’s car park

The Janskys Tramlines 2012 - photo Gerard Morgan

The Janskys at Tramlines 2012 Old House (photo by Gerard F Morgan)

Looks very much like it’s going to be another scorcher this weekend so a perfect time to take a trip to Sheffield, soak up some rays and enjoy the wonderful live music on offer across the city. We hope to see some of you good people down there.

Also, just a reminder that if you’ve not yet procured your copy of WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS it’s available to buy from:

Our online shop https://www.sawayakasheffield.org.uk/shop/

Rare & Racy, 164-166 Devonshire Street S3 7SG www.rareandracy.co.uk

Record Collector, 233-235 Fulwood Road S10 3BA http://recordcollectorsheffield.co.uk/

 

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When Silence Spoke…. an evening with The Janskys

Well, the evening finally arrived – The Janskys launch gig for WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS at Shakespeares on Friday 12th July 2013….  And what a memorable night it was.

As expected the evening got off to a wonderful start with a spellbinding set by Rhys Bethell accompanying himself on the Spanish guitar made for him by his partner Rosie’s father.  A beautiful instrument beautifully played.  The crowd were held captive to this young man’s unassuming delivery of incredibly intricate vocal and guitar melodies including Fey Jane with vocal accompaniment from Every Animal on Earth’s Laura Thompson and the tribute to his late step father Nigel West, Carnac.

Rhys 8

Rhys Bethell (photo by Gerard F Morgan)

After a refuelling break and a chance to breathe outside of the sultry muggy conditions of the upstairs sweat box gig room the crowd reconvened for the main set by The Janskys.

On probably the hottest night of the year so far the set opened with the sounds of thunder and rain from the LP opener After The Flood as both the track and the live band swelled into life.

Having been largely absent from the live scene for the last couple of years with the exception of the occasional show here and there, this was a chance to see the band back firing on all cylinders kicking into hi octane versions of songs from the new LP including the lead track Tell Me, Head In The Sand and Better Day.

With the set dedicated to producer and friend Colin Bradley, it was then down to singer and acoustic guitarist Pat Donoghue to lead the band through the evening, feeding off the love in the room to engage the crowd with relaxed heartfelt words from the stage.  The Janskys’ line up also featured Damian Sackett on vocals and electric guitar, Liam Rice on drums and Stu Owen on bass.  The obvious absence of original bass player and founder member Nick Davies prompted Pat to say a few words addressing the fact that Nick had left the band while mentioning his important role on the new album and wishing him all the best for the future.

The Janskys onstage at Shakespeares 12th July 2013 (photo by Gerard F Morgan)

Mid-set saw a welcome guest appearance from Howard Holmes reprising his rousing harmonica part on Motion Sickness.

As well as playing newer non album tracks Sinking Ship and Collective Alchemy Pat & Damian also revisited The Janskys’ eponymous 2009 mini LP performing an acoustic version of I Can’t Hear Anything.

Another mellower offering was the atmospheric That Way, with additional waves of sound and percussion – taken direct from Colin Bradley’s wonderfully recorded production work and featuring LP drummer Jon Grove – augmenting the band’s live sound.

With no easy access backstage at the end of the set and the crowd being somewhat raucous, the band went straight into the encore starting with Howard rejoining them for a cover of Band Of HorsesIs There A Ghost before which Pat took the opportunity to introduce the band and thank the audience.  The evening was rounded off with a suitably epic Brocco Bank.

The evening then continued in the relative cool of Shakespeares’ beer garden with banter into to the early hours.

The Janskys and Sawayaka Sheffield wish to thank everyone who made the evening so memorable.  Special thanks goes to our partners, families and close friends without whose love and support we would have never reached this point.

 

Next stop Tramlines….

Tramlines

Talking of which, The Janskys will be playing a series of stripped back acoustic gigs across this Tramlines weekend.

Thursday 18th July 9pm, The Museum, Orchard Square

Saturday 20th July 2pm, The Old House, Devonshire Street

Sunday 21st July 3.45pm, Outside Stage at Henry’s car park

Looks very much like it’s going to be another scorcher this weekend so a perfect time to take a trip to Sheffield, soak up some rays and enjoy the wonderful live music on offer across the city. We hope to see some of you good people down there.

 

Also, just a reminder that if you’ve not yet procured your copy of WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS it’s available to buy from:

Our online shop https://www.sawayakasheffield.org.uk/shop/

Rare & Racy, 164-166 Devonshire Street S3 7SG www.rareandracy.co.uk

Record Collector, 233-235 Fulwood Road S10 3BA http://recordcollectorsheffield.co.uk/

 

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Preview of When Silence Speaks launch gig – Sheffield Telegraph & The Star

It’s good to see our local press getting behind its local artists.  Sister papers the Sheffield Telegraph & The Star are today both carrying a preview of tomorrow night’s  launch gig by The Janskys at Shakespeares

Telegraph

http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/what-s-on/music/music-matters-not-tight-jeans-1-5843186

The Star Black

http://www.thestar.co.uk/what-s-on/gigs-music/music-matters-not-tight-jeans-1-5843186

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ALBUM LAUNCH GIG HERE AT LAST – TOMORROW, FRIDAY 12th JULY

After 2 years recording and mixing, and the last couple of months promoting the release of the new LP WHEN SILENCE SPEAKS, The Janskys will be playing their hometown launch gig tomorrow night to celebrate! The gig will feature a full band line up and promises to be a great evening.

We hope you can make it along….

Shakespears logo

SAWAYAKA SHEFFIELD presents:
The Janskys
‘When Silence Speaks’ album launch at
SHAKESPEARES, Gibraltar Street, Sheffield S3 8UB
Friday 12th July
Doors 8pm
Special guest Rhys Bethell
Tickets:£4 Advance Ticket/£9 CD&Ticket
£5 entry on the door

 

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