"The uke arrived today and wow it's beautiful. I've been playing it all day and am so so grateful. It has such a beautiful tone and I love the texture with the octave strings. It sounds like an African instrument sometimes which is very cool. Thank you thank you thank you!"
When he was a boy, Johnny Flynn used to poach trout. If this sounds like a scene from Roald Dahl’s Danny The Champion Of The World, it’s because Johnny Flynn’s life would make for a great Dahl adventure… Ever since discovering a copy of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in a junk shop aged 13, he has known what he wants to do with his life: to take off on a path of discovery, and write poetic, lyrical songs that document the journey.
And with his second album, you can hear that spirit of searching, a voice of the outsider. Johnny Flynn has developed the song-writing maturity — equal parts resigned and hopeful— that was strongly present in his debut A Larum. While A Larum was couched in an English folk style, Been Listening spreads its wings further.
Born in Johannesburg, Flynn grew up in Hampshire and South Wales. A classical music scholarship for his prodigious musicianship saw him through school after which he headed for drama school in London, where he moonlighted as a fiddle player for his friend, the singer Emmy The Great, before striking off on his own.
Been Listening comes after years of Flynn paying his dues with impromptu sets in the back rooms of pubs. “Friends would hear me working on songs when I crashed on their sofas. They encouraged me to strike out on my own. It was an adventure to turn up at a half-empty pub where nobody knew who you were and see if by the end of the night you could share an experience together.” Backed by the critical acclaim and learning curve that A Larum gave him, Johnny Flynn is entering into a new level of song-writing maturity that recalls the accessibility and spiritual depth of an early 1970s Cat Stevens.
Johnny Flynn plays: