Farms, roofs, mountains and stuff

Don’t trust the weather forecast. If you want to know for sure when it’s going to rain, ask me; because surely enough, whenever I perform outdoors, it’s sure to rain. And so it was that this weekend at Farmfest, my band Polaroid 85 was terribly abused by the elements. Upon taking to the stage, the clouds appeared, the heavens opened, and our crowd of thoroughly delightful human beings got a total drenching. Thanks to those of you who stayed with us through the rain and the sunshine! It was a great weekend and a jolly good festival.

Polaroid 85 Farmfest megafan Polaroid 85 @ Farmfest 2014

In the few weeks before this, I had the opportunity to play all over the place with some crazy / wonderful people. One particular highlight was Othon‘s Pineal album launch party at The Garage in Highbury & Islington. This was a characteristically quirky night inspired by the wonders of ayahuasca, featuring cameo appearances from big names including Marc Almond and Ernesto Tomasini. Definitely something off the beaten track and well worth a listen. I’m also featured on the album performing a solo violin track called City Shaman.

Pineal launch show

Project Avartan took a trip to Lisbon to perform at the Museu do Oriente. Although we ended up stranded in Portugal due to flight cancellations (thank you TAP Portugal – still an unexplained cancellation and you haven’t replied to my letter), we had a smashing time soaking up the atmosphere and performing for a lovely mixed bunch of people. You can check out the compilation video here:

The Guastalla Quartet‘s Homeland Tour of Switzerland, Germany and the UK was a smash. The audiences in Bern, Karlsruhe and Norwich were incredibly friendly and receptive. We also had time to record a new live album in Boulder Studios, Bern. Watch this space for fresh recordings of Milhaud and Dvorak coming very soon! Apologies to those of you who helped fund the tour and are still expecting CDs. We haven’t forgotten! On that note, another massive thanks to everyone who made the tour possible. You are the true heroes of the music world! (P.S. commiserations to Switzerland for the World Cup…)

Guastalla Quartet in the Schwarzwald

On a final note, I’ve hooked up with young and funky company Gather.ly in pursuit of some exciting collaborative projects. I’m over the moon to be working with the formidably talented The Last Skeptik. We have no idea what we’re going to come up with, but that’s half the fun. If you don’t know him, you ought to check him ought immediately! Massive beats, beautiful textures and most importantly, a clear love of music. Here’s a little snap and brief clip from a rooftop meeting with Gather.ly recently. That’s all for now – enjoy the sun!

John @ the Gather.ly rooftop

Escapist EP out on Sunday

Polaroid 85 new EPAfter well over a year of blood, sweat and tears, one of the groups I play with, Polaroid 85, is releasing its second EP. ‘Escapist’ is a sonic voyage through an intense world of melody, dance music rhythms and ambient sounds, bringing together a wealth of influences and instruments including strings, guitars, percussion, winds, all manner of voices and electronics. (it’s also really great to listen to!)

‘Escapist’ is available to download on iTunes on June 9th on Reel Me Records. In the meantime, there are previews you can check out here.

To celebrate this exciting release, Polaroid 85 will be playing a big gig at the Bussey Building on June 15th (click here for more event info and tickets). This promises to be a mahooooooooooooooosive set, featuring the band, string quartet, guest vocalists, new songs and more! Come along and help us partay like it’s 2999.

Whilst you’re counting down the seconds to the big day, you can listen to our first EP right here. It’s also available to download for free. Spread the word and help us share what we love doing!

John Garner Quartet EP launched

Dearest friend,

I hope this WordPress post finds you well.

I am addressing you directly in order to draw your attention to a rather exciting event which has been brewing for quite some time and has finally boiled over (guffaw). Yes, that’s right! Today of all days, May 22nd 2013, my very own jazz group has released its first record on Love Buzz Recordings – ‘Live at Trinity Studio.’

If there is any possibility that this missive has peaked your curiosity, I should very much like to point you in the direction in which one might be able to procure for oneself a copy of said record. Please point your cursor to THESE VERY WORDS and embark upon your Maiden Voyage (guffaw) on the rambunctious waters of the John Garner Quartet.

Warmest wishes to your dearest better half. We really must weather the slings and arrows of outrageous London perchance to dine together before the first snow.

Yours,

John Garner

P.S. I hope you like this rather clever rendering of the cover of the record; I am overawed by such technology as should allow me to send this in your direction from such a wretched distance! The JGQ live