Hand-made bows and fishing trips in Wigan musician's unusual crowd-funding campaign

John Fairhurst
John Fairhurst

A Wigan musician is sharing his passion for the great outdoors and time-honoured craft skills in an unusual fund-raiser for his new album.

Rocker John Fairhurst is about to launch a crowd-funder ahead of next month’s release of his second full-length album The Divided Kingdom.

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But alongside common music fund-raisers like intimate gigs in fans’ houses John is reaching into his list of more unusual hobbies and talents.

That means supporters could get their hands on bows and arrows made by the guitarist, singer and songwriter or join him in the countryside on a day’s fishing.

John said: “I’ve been interested in traditional bushcraft since I was a child and I’ve been making bows for years. I did it for a job at one point.

“For the crowd-funding I will be teaching people those traditional outdoor skills and I will be making personalised bows and sets of arrows. I’m also an avid angler so someone will be able to come fishing with me for a day.

"There’s a growing interest in traditional crafts at the moment and it resonates with some of the themes on the new album too.”

John, who has recorded The Divided Kingdom in a duo with drummer Toby Murray, says the new album is his darkest and most honest release yet.

The songs cover topics including the massive divisions in society, the election of Donald Trump, Brexit and the threat of environmental destruction and climate change.

Some of these issues have become much more important due to his family circumstances as he was writing the album.

But he said it is not entirely a dark album and also spoke of his delight at coming to Wigan for the album launch at The Old Courts on April 12.

John said: “It’s an album of two halves. One is where I talk about our leaders, the divisions in our society, the increase in racism and hate crime and the state of the planet. Since becoming a father that idea of responsibility for the future has been enhanced enormously.

"My partner is Polish so Brexit also feels very close to home. It’s caused us a lot of worry about what we’re going to do and where we’re going to live.

“However, the other half is about family, your life, friends and the way you have to deal with things every day.

“I’m also very proud to be able to release my record in my hometown. It’s also great to see The Old Courts keeping music and culture alive in Wigan, because that’s very important indeed.”

The launch at the Crawford Street venue will also include examples of John’s craft work on display alongside pieces from members of Standish Cross Street Arts culture group.

The crowdfunding campaign launches on Indiegogo on March 18. The Divided Kingdom is out on April 12.

Find out more at www.johnfairhurst.com