With his much-anticipated third album Herd Runners due for release next month on Heavenly Recordings, CHERRY GHOST has announced news of a 6-date UK tour in June including a performance at Islington Assembly Hall in London. Dates/info below:
Tuesday 17 June – GLASGOW – Oran Mor
Thursday 19 June – LONDON – Islington Assembly Hall
Friday 20 June – LIVERPOOL – East Village Arts Club
Saturday 21 June – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club
Tuesday 24 June – BIRMINGHAM – The Institute
Wednesday 25 June – MANCHESTER – Cathedral
Cherry Ghost has also unveiled a charming b/w video to the album’s first single ‘Clear Skies Ever Closer’. The video is the directorial debut of Maxine Peake and stars herself and Shaun Evans (Silk, Endeavour) as possibly estranged lovers wistfully contemplating their relationship. Click below to watch and read down for a quote from both Maxine.
Maxine Peake on the making of the video: “I’ve known Simon since 6th form and am a big fan of Cherry Ghost but bizarrely didn’t realise they where one and the same. I only found out when Marc Riley informed me of the fact before inviting me along to a Cherry Ghost session for 6music. Which was absolutely stunning. So when Simon approached me to direct Clear Skies I hesitated for a second (as I’ve never directed anything in my life!) but I like a challenge and it was just too good an opportunity to pass up. I’d bought Shaun Evans ‘Beneath the Burning Shoreline’ as a birthday present a couple of years ago so I knew he wouldn’t need much arm twisting to take part. Clear Skies Ever Closer is such a beautiful and evocative track, it was a real honour to try and represent Simon’s artistry on screen. It was a steep learning curve but I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
For the last couple of years Simon Aldred has been in a state of wilful musical schizophrenia. Since 2007, Bolton-born Aldred has – to all intents – been Cherry Ghost, a band known for perfecting a kind of widescreen North Western country soul. Yet the third Cherry Ghost album Herd Runners arrives after an extensive period in which Aldred’s own music been pulled in multiple different directions.
Firstly, as a songwriter-for-hire, Aldred has helped nurture the best of nascent British talent (including hugely tipped artists like Sam Smith and Kwabs). Latterly, he produced a set of critically lauded post-midnight electronic love songs under the Out Cold guise. Somewhere in the middle, there’s the small matter of the phoenix-like rebirth of Aldred’s Ivor Novello winning 2007 single People Help The People as it went on to chart highly in fourteen different countries in 2010 when it was covered by the teenage singer Birdy.
Far from muddying the musical waters, each of these diversions has only helped sharpen Aldred’s songwriting, providing a major spur for the finest Cherry Ghost album to date. “Exploring different styles has helped my own songs,” says Aldred, “Musicians need to stretch themselves and keep on learning.”
It was that exploration that has helped bring Herd Runners to life. Shifting from soaring, symphonic pop (Clear Skies Ever Closer) to melancholic lock-in blues (Drinking for Two) via an almost uncompromisingly hopeful rhythmic shuffle (The World Could Turn [In A Heartbeat]), Herd Runners is a sublime collection, a reminder of Aldred’s singular skill as a composer; a skill that can twist bitter loss into teary optimism (and back) in less time than it takes to toss a coin. Click HERE to listen to ‘The World Could Turn’.
Recorded in Sheffield with long-term Richard Hawley collaborator Colin Elliot and mixed in Bath with Dan Austin, Herd Runners is ten perfectly crafted tales of heartbreak and hope.
Herd Runners is released 12th May on Heavenly Recordings.