On GUT FEELS by Johny Brown (tiny GLOBAL productions, 2024)


One part Mike Scott and one part Bob Dylan,
And another part Piaf, Johny Brown spills his guts
As this solo collections splits stars, already stained,
If not folded onto the whores and the hoardings
To grease the societal doors which stay shut.

His ‘heart bleeds like creeping surveillance,’
He sings as these joyless songs sound as holy,
As those sung from an angel clambering to survive
His sparked fall. With a mix of rancour and rhyme
And an undeniable rawness, these songs capture

The spirits of ‘unread, writers’ ‘Old Hopefuls’
And the souls he sees passing on his regular
Coffee/Book sessions where Brown stirs sensation
To source a spell for song’s call. Old Hopefuls embitters
Bands as they strip hack critics of chatter,

While the main matter is how to go on despite slurs.
And the music is charged by intent as Brown’s band chimes
And clatters; as John Clayton’s cello and organ, and Katy Carr’s
Uke and vibes act as spurs for Brown’s voice and guitars,
And Lee Stapleford’s fiddles, while David Coulter whose

‘library of inspired instruments beautifully deployed’
Colour steam which seems to seep from this songs
As they stain the air with their passion; from Pigeon
Channelling to Punk Badges, this boy from all ages,
Wipes through reminiscence the dust, rust and chaos

And makes both the spew stricken river
And the broken brick start to gleam. Brown is a kind
Of Geordie (Tom) Waits, city set, aligning himself
With the rats and the ‘roses that grow wild amongst
The docklands at the edges of stadiums,’ and the dream

That the impassioned reader can have, fuelled by coffee
In the Café, as David Lynch does; Brown’s flowers of intent
And idea are weed-green, as they rise before us and wrap
Around conventional vision. In so doing they’re warping
The world that we know, knew and lost, while raising lands

Which will be as Brown describes ‘misbegotten.’ As he sips
And sings, Johny’s reading  both tea-leaf and bean at our cost.
His heart bleeds, yet he feeds on the steam of hope as it vapours.
With his cup as chalice Johny’s a King on the make. As he attempts
To fuse fast with those he observes trailing past him; each person

A city, a ruin to rouse, a God-take. From the ‘toxic landslide’
Of his heart to his faded and once famous blue raincoats;
From his lost at sea Sailors for whom the world is a pearl;
From ‘stupid gold’ to angelic attitudes towards poets;
From the nice shirt, to crap hair, to prospects bare, DMT,

Brown colours clouds already bruised by pollution
Not just from exhaust pipes, but from the bile of those
Who are failing and must surely know they’re not free.
Brown sings not of Lucifer’s fall, but of his cinematic hangover.
He trawls the gutters fror shmutter and the taint of time

As it seeps, not as Dali’s clock did, for even though the heat is on
We’re not melting.  Instead as Brown colours, we get to see
And hear how years weep. ‘Barbaric kisses’ abound in
‘I’d love to be a character in one of your bad tattoos’
As ‘Brutal attraction’ is ‘erased from the public gaze’ 

We grow for. And as we forget to reform, or form at all
True connection, the marks we make on each other
Whether for or against send lost skies of love
To the floor. Johny Brown is teacher. Sad clown,
Poet, preacher, soul-screacher, stirring us up

With the coffee and as his Monday Morning reads
See muse hurled, from Cabut to Cohen as seen in
Gut Feels lyric booklet, which acts as brochure
For this special tour-de-force between worlds
Featuring photos by Inga Tillere, and unknown street

Artists, and Gabi Rojas’ design, we have roadmaps
For this spectacular journey within where Gut Feels
Are a force for community and for action. Actioned
In the essay with which Brown seals this deal.
Cold Deliverance fed to those who know they are starving
Despite café culture and that which is cancelled or cut.
Brown’s poetry makes a plea for universe and unification
Under the same star and signal, in which we can all learn
To be with no but. This then is book and album as Church.
A testament of tunes proudly offered in which the common

Man, child and woman of whatever creed can align.
As Johny sings from the street and of the street also.
He howls all that’s holy. And he moves pride and pavement
So that we can travel beside.

Song as sign.



                                                                 David Erdos 20/2/24









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