Every once in a while, a young songwriter emerges with such tremendous prodigious ability, that their path to greatness seems inevitable. 22-year-old Andrew Cushin combines gritty realism with a timeless sound, delivering the raw, honest experiences of a Newcastle lad as instant classic indie anthems.
Cushin looks set to become the new voice of the next generation, as proven by a string of powerful singles including “Memories”, “Catch Me If You Can” and “It’s Gonna Get Better”. Signed to Strap Originals, the label owned by the one and only Peter Doherty, this year has seen the realise of his emotive EP You Don’t Belong which he recently took to the road to promote.
You Don’t Belong includes his greatest hit so far; “Where’s My Family Gone”. Produced by the legendary Noel Gallagher, it reveals Cushin’s tremendous lyrical talent as he unveils an introspective masterpiece which will soon be recognised as his breakthrough moment.
Now, the rising star announces a huge Autumn headline tour which takes him around the U.K. Andrew Cushin tickets are released at 10:00am on Friday 28th of April - CLICK HERE to set your event reminder with Gigantic right now!
He is also selected to join the awesome line up for Hardwick Festival 2023 - the biggest music festival in the North East! Plus, you can see Cushin play support for Shed Seven at The Picturedrome in Holmfirth on Friday 11th of October when you book your tickets with Gigantic.
We went to see Andrew play a stunning set at Bodega, one of our favourite Nottingham venues. Plus, we were lucky enough to talk to the rising star about his writing process.
GIG REVIEW - Sam Potts
Andrew Cushin took to the stage in Nottingham last week in front of a sold-out Bodega as the band hit the halfway point during their UK tour. After his long-awaited appearance, he was greeted with raucous cheers that didn’t settle throughout the entirety of his opening number as the crowd chanted along to “Hollywood”’s ‘are you ready’. Evidently, they were.
It’s seemingly impossible not to sing along with the 22-year-old’s anthemic vocal hooks. As he belted out his impressively powerful voice, the audience followed suit and the room was shaking with this united ensemble the night long. That is apart from for the moment the band left the stage while the young Geordie performed solo what he described as ‘the most personal song I’ve ever written’. The room fell still into the intimate and solemn delivery of “4.5%” that held all captive in Cushin’s lamenting.
Just as comfortable holding a room silent as he is riffing with his fans between tunes, he performed another impromptu solo piece upon request and encouraged everyone to sing along as he laughed ‘I don’t think I know the words’.
Now accompanied by his band again, they launched into “You Don’t Belong” which Andrew dedicated to the Tom the guitarist’s mum, stood front and centre. The powerhouse drums and wailing solos brought the house down as the band looked to be having the time of their lives. So much so, that Andrew even remarked that it felt like a homecoming show despite being a long way from his Newcastle roots.
If the swarm around him post gig and the cleaned-out merch stand have anything to say, this young northerner has certainly captured the hearts of many up and down the country and will undoubtedly be doing even bigger things in the years to come.
There’s a lot of heart and soul all poured into your tunes. What comes first when you’re writing affecting songs; the lyrics or the music?
Depends on the subject matter and how I’m feeling to be honest. Sometimes I can be noodling on the guitar and have a melody or chord structure appear, other times I find myself writing a poem and putting music to it later.
”Where’s My Family Gone” is particularly powerful. What is the story behind the song?
I wrote that song in a hotel room in Leeds before a show. I remember not speaking to a fair few of my family at the time, and being away from home for the first time was pretty difficult. “Where’s My Family Gone” was a story of how I was feeling at the that time.
We can hear a lot of nods towards Paul Weller and obviously Noel Gallagher who produced ”Where’s My Family Gone”. Are they inspirations of yours, and who else do you derive influence from?
Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Richard Ashcroft, Donovan… the list for lyrical inspirations is endless.
You’ve been taken under the wing of Peter Doherty, signed to his label Strap Originals. How did that come about and how much guidenace does he give you?
I supported Peter in my first gig after lockdown, apparently after I played my first song he ran out of his dressing room and stood side of the stage… he told me straight after the show he’d like me to join his label. It’s been a great journey ever since.
With the music industry being so London centric, the North East is often unfairly overlooked. Do you think you’ve had greater challenges as a Geordie lad breaking through?
Massively, it’s hard enough getting an A&R man up north… with the recent surge however of Sam Fender I think it’s beginning to change.
It’s been a big year for you, seeing the release of your EP ”You Don’t Belong” and an autumn tour. What can we expect in 2023?
Definitely an album, another big headline UK tour and probably another haircut.
19/10 Andrew Cushin – Thekla, Bristol
22/10 Andrew Cushin – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
24/10 Andrew Cushin – Patterns, Brighton
28/10 Andrew Cushin – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
04/11 Andrew Cushin – O2 City Hall Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne