A well-travelled Wigan musician is revelling in the joys of being back on home soil as he looks forward to taking his career to the next stage.
John Churton, who went to Hindley High School, has spent much of the last few years busking and performing in cities across Europe.
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However, John has now returned to the UK and has based himself in rural Oxfordshire.
The return also coincides with a major move for the 22-year-old musician as he has signed a management deal with company HotVox which will guarantee him some more high-profile gigs.
That includes an upcoming live outing in London at The Spice of Life, a Soho venue famous for hosting the likes of Bob Dylan, a major influence on John’s rootsy and folky sound taking cues from music on both sides of the Atlantic, and Jimi Hendrix.
John said: “Soho is the musical heart of London and all sorts of people have played at The Spice of Life.
“To have gone from where I started out to Soho is big for me. It’s really cool.
“Bob Dylan is such an inspiration to me and I’m really going for that sound he and people like Johnny Cash had.”
John was previously living in Paris, combining outdoor performances with looking after children, but admits the City of Light was a tough place to forge a musical career and make a living.
He says his new surroundings outside Oxford are already helping him with his songwriting, having started penning new material since moving.
He said: “Paris was very difficult, emotionally draining.
“I’m home again and in the countryside at the moment, which is a neat escape away from civilisation.
“My surroundings are definitely having an influence, I’ve been listening to music and then recently just came up with a melody for a new song.
“It’s a good atmosphere to work in as it’s quiet.”
John is also hoping signing with HotVox will enable him to get his four-track EP, which he has been working on since last year, released.
He says he recently listened to the versions of the songs he had committed to disc in his home studio but was dissatisfied with them and wants to book time with a producer to get them into their final form before putting them on the shelves.
He also has plans for the track Mr Leprechaun, which was inspired by his first visit to Ireland, to be released as a single.
He said: “I was listening back to the recordings and couldn’t hear the change in the sound I wanted. I want the songs recorded properly with someone who knows what they are looking for.
“The feedback I got from my last gig has given me a lot of confidence to go and do that now.”
In recent years John has also lived and performed in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland.
He is now planning to perform at more community events in London and Oxford rather than spending so much time busking.
However, he says now he is back in Britain the thought of a hometown gig in Wigan appeals too.
He said: “I’d like to speak to Wigan Council about the Christmas lights switch-on. That would be going back to where it started as my first event was a Christmas Cracker.”
For more information about John’s music visit www.johnchurton.com