Interview: Jordan Allen


The indie rock band Jordan Allen is named after their frontman, a charismatic northerner with gravelly vocals and a rock ‘n’ roll tendency to let loose on stage. Their Newcastle gig promises to be a wild one…


How are you this morning?

Yeah not so bad. Just on our way back home, we’re just on our first leg of the tour now.

Is it going well?

Yeah really well. We didn’t have much sleep last night. It’s our guitarist’s birthday so we were out ’til quite late but we had to get up and get back home early this morning so we’re a bit tired. No it’s been really good the first leg of the tour, it’s been great. Birmingham was sold out last night, so yeah, happy days.

Have you played in Newcastle before?

Yeah […] we’ve played twice. I think the first [gig] was part of Hit The North Festival and then we did our first headline show about this time last year, which was ace. Newcastle… I’ve been going up there since I was quite young really […] it’s always a great place to go and play. We’ve done a couple of festivals around Newcastle as well, we’ve done Hardwick Live, which isn’t many miles away.

So what can the Newcastle audience expect from you this time round?

Well last time we had a full 20 man stage invasion *laughs*. So I think something close to that yeah. It’s a proper rowdy gig, you know, plenty of catchy songs and it’s something we’ve found out on this tour […] the live shows really strike home with people. I think it’s something that even if you’ve never seen [us], you’ve never listened to us before or you might not have heard of us it’s definitely a great gig to go to. We’re always a lot of fun. For sure.

Hailing from the Manchester scene, alongside brilliant bands like Blossoms, is there a certain pressure to fit into the massive success of that indie music scene?

Definitely! Yeah I think it’s tough because every band kind of moves at their own pace. I started off playing with Blossoms in a small venue, I think it was the night they got signed actually. I’m still mates with them now. Obviously you’ve got The Blinders who’ve come out of Manchester recently, doing really well. But it just kind of pushes you more really because you have to live up to what these other bands are doing. Every band is gonna move at a different pace They’ll get different opportunities to what we get but we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing – keep our heads down cos at the moment it’s going pretty well. So yeah, like I say it’s important to have those bands around to push you and keep you on your toes really *laughs*.

What was the inspiration behind your reason to start a band in the first place?

I started off on my own just doing like a few acoustic songs in a pub really. Yeah eventually just started doing more and more shows. There wasn’t really any inspiration behind it, it kind of naturally happened. I fell into it really and then before I knew it […] I got a band and yeah eventually, with a couple of line up changes we ended up with a band we’ve had now for about two and a half years. […] But this is a band, this is what people get confused about a lot of the time. It’s not just a solo project now, there’s four of us *laughs*. So it’s definitely changed in that respect. But it makes for the better live gigs definitely.

Yeah you have built up a pretty good live performance record. I know you were supporting and touring with The Sherlocks, as well as playing at a few massive festivals like Reading and Leeds and like you said, Hardwick Live, and now doing your own gigs. I think I know the answer to this question already but do you prefer writing and recording in studios or going out on tour and playing live to audiences?

Oh yeah definitely going out on tour. We’ve had some great shows. We’ve done Isle of Wight, Kendal [Calling] this summer as well, which was brilliant. But yeah, festival season is amazing. You know last year I think we ended up doing about 16 [festivals], something daft like that. It was great. Obviously we had our first full headline tour last year and then we did a little bit of touring with the Bluetones earlier this year. This is the place where we love being. I do love being in the studio but you can’t capture the intensity and the craziness of being on tour.

It surprises every night. Like in Birmingham last night for us. It was a weird one because I think last time we went there we had a half full room and this time it was packed out full and everyone knew the words. So it’s nice now touring, we’ve worked really hard and we’ve done a lot, a lot, of shows. In those two and a half years we’ve done close to you know maybe 200 shows or something like that. So yeah it’s nice to see that hard work paying off for us. But yeah, definitely touring, we’re a touring band. I think you have to come and see us live before you can really get what we’re about.

Well it sounds like a pretty crazy time touring and festival season. What’s the strangest, weirdest thing that has happened to you on tour or in festival season?

Gosh. How much space have you got? *laughs*. Yeah our drummer nearly drowned in his tent. We played at Y Not [festival] and we all had little makeshift tents and we all went out from about 7 in the morning. Anyway we woke up the next day it was blistering rain and our drummer’s tent was completely folded in on itself. He was underwater to the point where he was nearly floating *laughs*, completely passed out. We had to kind of wake him up and pull him out but yeah he had a bit of hypothermia.

Aside from playing live and touring, to give us an insight into your normal lives, how do you all relax and have fun? What do you get up to in your spare time?

To be honest it’s weird for us because we’re very, very normal. We all go back home and go to the pub with our mates and…we’re all still working *laughs*. I’m doing a bit of djing to earn some money. So the tour’s our week off really *laughs*. We just go back and have a chill with our mates and we go and watch quite a lot of bands to be fair. I’m now putting bands on in Bolton as well and doing a bit of djing because there’s no venues left open in Bolton. So we’ve opened a new indie venue. We put a lot back in to Bolton in regards to music. But we try and keep it a bit less crazy than when we’re out on tour.

Yeah it sounds pretty crazy when you’re on tour!

Yeah, well to be honest this tour we’ve been pretty well behavedI think we’ve had at least two nights in *laughs*. Usually we’ve been going out every night but we’ve just come back from doing some dates in Canada as well. That was really good but we’ve all been really jet lagged since we got back. So yeah we’ve been struggling to maintain our usual standards of going out after every show *laughs*.

Finally, what’s in store for Jordan Allen in 2019? Have you got anything big lined up?

At the moment we’re kind of biding our time because obviously we’re gonna finish this tour. I’ve recorded some demos of new things for next year but I think we’re just trying to find our place really. We’re really hoping we can go and have an even bigger festival season this year [2019]. So yeah it’s just getting all that in place really. I think it’s a very exciting year for us because I think we’ve got to start looking at an album next year. So it’s gonna be exciting, at the moment we don’t know what’s gonna happen, you know, we’re completely in the dark *laughs*. So I think we just roll out of the van , play a few songs and then see what happens really *laughs*. And we’ll keep doing that until someone tells us to do something else.

Yeah I think there will be lots of live shows, lots of festivals, and some new music as well and hopefully at some point an album.

Jordan Allen headline Think Tank? in Newcastle on the 4th December. Don’t miss out on the fun.


Interviewer: Alex Carmichael



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