What’s on with: Neon Waltz

Harley Cassidy /
Nov 1, 2017 / Music

As far as Northern bands go, Neon Waltz hold the title more justly than most.

Hailing from John O’Groats, a small village on the tip of Scotland, the six-piece spent their school years as a unit and have bore witness to a number of offbeat experiences that aren’t usually part of the standard routine for most fledgling bands.

From playing early gigs in a castle, to clocking up an unsavoury amount of van miles from travelling all over the country to being signed to and then leaving Atlantic Records, the band’s journey has been more interesting and perhaps, more arduous than most.

Like the name suggests, Neon Waltz, are fusing the old and the new; the very core of their craft relies on songwriting in a time-honoured, traditional way before it’s polished into beautifully, picturesque, lucid guitar pop which doesn’t sound like anything else being created right now.

Plus, find me another band this early on in their career with a Japanese super-fan called, Nana. I’ll wait.


Jordan Shearer – vocals
Kevin Swanson – guitar
Jamie Swanson – guitar
Calvin Wilson – bass
Darren Coghill – drums
Liam Whittles – keys


To put it neatly, Neon Waltz have a healthy, intimate relationship with the concept of a melody. They released their debut album, Strange Hymns, a few months ago, a compendium of British indie flecked in early morning sunlight with far-reaching choruses and that charming, swirling organ tone that never fails to delight.

‘Bare Wood Aisles’, is a personal pleasure to listen to; a lush amalgam of sweet harmonies, fairground organs and a general wistfulness that warms the soul.

What’s on your…


“Far too many things.”

Bedroom walls

“A poster of Ian Curtis and Neon Waltz gig passes.”


“Trainspotting, Touching From A Distance, Small Town Chase… I’m not a big reader, really.”

Party playlist

“Sabotage by Beastie Boys, Only God Knows by Young Fathers and Finger Weg Von Sachen Ohne Alkohol by Mickie Krause.”
“Loads of pictures of me looking all dreamy.”

Dream dinner party guest list

“Limmy, Dave Chapelle, Anton Newcombe, David Lynch, Swannie.”

Headstone if you could write it

“He wasn’t a bad lad really.”

Shit list

“Terrible music that is being flung at your face at the turn of every corner and TV shows about annoying, talentless celebrities.”

Record shelf

“About 100 records. Most recently played is David Lynch – The Big Dream and our own album Strange Hymns, which felt great to listen to.”


“Black Mirror and Bojack Horseman.”

Favourite menu

“My grannies Hogmanay roast dinner followed by cheesecake.”

Pre-gig warm up plan  

“A few lagers, a few fags, sing a couple of songs with Calvin and Kev.

New music radar

“Callum Easter and Bluebirds.”


Neon Waltz are supporting Milburn on their UK tour at the following dates:

09/11 – Student Central ULU, London
10/11 – 02 Academy, Leicester
11/11 – Manchester Academy, Manchester
16/11 – 02 ABC 2, Glasgow
17/11 – Leeds University Union, Leeds
18/11 – Riverside, Newcastle Upon Tyne


Image by Ronan Park

Words by Harley Cassidy

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