• Johnny Chirnside
  • JOHNNY CHIRNSIDE is a singer/songwriter who hails from the North East of England but has happily settled in his adopted home of Pembrokeshire, Wales for the past 38 years. “I’m a Welsh - Geordie” he explains.

    Although he gladly leaves it to others to classify his musical genre explaining “I never set out with an intention to write in a specific style”, the words Country/Folk and Pop spring to mind.

    It was during a three year stay in Richmond, London during the early 90’s that he discovered and how he so modestly puts it, could ‘sing’ after a close friend set him up in a singing competition. “I didn’t realize that it was a competition and was even more surprised to have won a magnum of champagne and £40!” he goes on “I used to emulate Mick Hucknall very well in those days and won a lot of money doing so”.

    After a failed relationship in London, Johnny moved back to his beloved Newcastle to study popular music at the newly opened John Marley Centre which was then a part of Newcastle College. It was there that a fellow student taught him three chords on his guitar, “I couldn’t put the guitar down!” he explains “My fingers were almost bleeding with practise but I loved it so much I carried on”. It was also at Newcastle College that he fronted the six piece band ‘Rainbow Kiss’ playing various gigs around the city's nightclubs. “We played covers ranging from Simply Red to The Doors” adding “I was hooked! We had a lot of fun but it also cemented my serious interest in music”.

    During this period, Johnny began to write his first songs. “They were mainly of personal things that had happened in my life” he says. Johnny also began to delve into the art of recording using one of the first releases of Cubase (a music sequencer) which he ran on an Atari ST40. “It was a very basic midi set up but it allowed me to get some ideas down”.

    After graduating from college, Johnny moved back to Pembrokeshire where his career as a performing musician took off. “I played a lot of solo gigs in wine bars and restaurants. It was the mid 90’s. I carried on writing a lot of songs but never managed to get anything recorded”.

    In 2016, Johnny finally released his first album: Is There a Message For Me? A compilation of his 10 favourite songs he’d written from over the past 20 years. “They were songs that had been on my mind forever! Mostly of personal content and which I class in the form of my musical diary” he says. “It was so relieving to have finally recorded them”.

    In early 2017, Johnny founded ‘West Bound’ a 5 piece country band performing classic and modern country tunes. “It took off really quickly and established us well and truly on the Welsh music scene” he says. 2017 also saw Johnny begin work on his second album: Nashville. “I hope to have this completed by the end of 2018 but unfortunately work is getting in the way” he laughs. By the way, the title track Nashville was nominated for an award at The UK Country Music Awards 2018 at which Johnny performed the song.

    The album Nashville was finally released on March 1st 2019 and featured on Radio Pembrokeshire, PureWest Radio, UKCountryRadio.com and BBC Radio Wales' Frank Hennessy show. The album was well received by West Wales' music critic BB Skone and appeared in The Western Telegraph newspaper. "It's very encouraging to see the album doing so well" Johnny said, adding " Nashville took me a long time to create and gave me several late night headaches but I'm 100% happy with it." There are some nine guest appearances on the album which Johnny states as a 'necessary joy' for him to be able to include these fellow musicians.

    We asked what the future holds for Johnny Chirnside to which he replies (with a wink)… “I see myself and my partner retiring to sunny France, in a home with our own recording studio, living on the success of the millions of euro’s Nashville will earn us”.

    Good luck Johnny!!

    Visit Johnny's page on Bandcamp