5 things we know about next John Grant album Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

  1. Lead track Disappointing is more pop than anything on Pale Green Ghosts

Does anyone have a better taste in female duet partners? We saw Grant three times last year: Glastonbury, Royal Festival Hall and duetting with Alison Goldfrapp at the Albert Hall. Sinead O’Connor appeared on last proper album Pale Green Ghosts and here former Everything But The Girl star Thorn is duetting (see YouTube clip above) on gorgeous lines like: ‘Francis Bacon, the Dolomites, ballet dancers with or without tights, Central Park on an autumn day, always stunning and never cliche.’ And if that sounds too Vogue Madonna, the chorus reverts to type (‘All these things, they’re just Disappointing …’) until the O’Connor-esque payoff (‘… compared to you.’) Musically, it’s a return to the jauntier elements of breakthrough Queen of Denmark album.

2. There’s an album trailer

Out 9 October, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure boasts 14 tracks (including Intro and Outro) and the fabulous Disappointing above. At only 33 seconds, viewing the trailer (at #2 above) won’t take up a huge amount of your time. It’s a bit NSFW as it features Grant covered in blood wielding a hammer, at first in what looks like rage, although at the close of the clip he’s much calmer, albeit more bloodied. We’re guessing the featured song is the title track. An interesting recent Guardian interview revealed ‘grey tickles’ is the direct translation in Icelandic for ‘midlife crisis’ and ‘black pressure’ is Turkish for ‘nightmare’. So far, so Stock Aitken and Waterman.

3. Tickets are still available for his Eventim Apollo gig

monstagigz thinks Grant played only one track from the new album at his last London gig with the Royal Northern Sinfonia at the Royal Festival Hall in November 2014 (above). Tickets are still available for his only 2015 UK gig after the album’s release at the Eventim Apollo 12/11. There’s a chance to stand too which we think is always the best way to appreciate Grant. No doubt he’ll be playing at some big festivals next year in support of the album.

4. It’s unlikely to be a walk in the park

Despite the Central Park lyric mentioned in #1 (which Thorn sings) with titular black pressure and midlife crisis we’re guessing Disappointing is likely to be the most uplifting thing here. We loved Queen of Denmark from the moment we heard it and, although we never fully appreciated Pale Green Ghosts (not enough pure pop moments), everything points to another lyrically challenging album from this now 48-year-old who announced he was HIV-positive onstage in 2012. Our favourite Grant track is the clip above.

5. Fingers crossed for more female collaborations

No clues from the iTunes pre-order (Disappointing available now) about any more amazing female collaborations on this album but we’ve picked a highlight from the 2014 Albert Hall gig with Goldfrapp to point to just how good they always are. Grant’s songs have also always soundtracked the best bits (until, arguably, most recently) of Andrew Haigh‘s work. Grey Tickles, Black Pressure? Bring it on.


  1. amethyst3704 · September 14, 2015

    Can’t wait for the album, wish he was playing up north so I could go and see him again.


  2. mrmonstagigz · September 15, 2015

    Yes, odd that there’s only 1 London date announced so far. I’m sure there’ll be a much lengthier and extensive UK visit announced around the time of the album’s release.


  3. Pingback: PREVIEW: 8 reasons to be excited about October | monstagigz

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