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(Credit: John Cale)

Music

John Cale shares David Bowie-inspired single 'Night Crawling'

John Cale - 'Night Crawling'
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John Cale has released ‘Night Crawling’, his first new music since 2020, which saw the release of the single, ‘Lazy Day’, and a collaboration with Kelly Lee Owens on ‘Corner of My Sky’.

‘Night Crawling’ precedes Cale’s upcoming UK tour, initially planned for this summer but was postponed due to Covid-19-related issues. The forthcoming dates will mark the former Velvet Underground multi-instrumentalist’s first live performances since before the pandemic. 

Cale wrote ‘Night Crawling’ as an ode to 1970’s New York City in the pre-disco era, recalling times when he and fellow Brit star David Bowie would circle the city at night. 

Throughout the track, Cale layers his distinctive vocals with a skipping beat, ethereal synth and a bouncing bass line that gives almost danceable energy to proceedings. Cale played nearly every instrument for the single, with the exception of added drum tracks from Deantoni Parks and backing vocals performed by Dustin Boyer. 

The accompanying video, animated by Mickey Miles, visualises the song’s noir, pre-disco setting with a stylish retro animation depicting a night out in New York City in the ’70s. David Bowie can be seen in his Thin White Duke attire as he joins Cale for a beer in a bar and a cigarette on the street. The colourful video compliments the groovy progression of the music, which perfectly depicts the dark, hedonistic setting.

Discussing ‘Night Crawling’ in a press release, Cale said: “It’s been a helluva past two years, and I’m glad to finally share a glimpse of what’s coming ahead. There was this period around mid-late-’70s when David and I would run into each other in NY. There was plenty of talk about getting some work done, but of course, we’d end up running the streets, sometimes until we couldn’t keep a thought in our heads, let alone actually get a song together!”

He continued: “One night, we managed to meet up for a benefit concert where I taught him a viola part so we could perform together. When I wrote ‘Night Crawling,’ it was a reflective moment of particular times. That kind of NYC that held art in its grip, strong enough to keep it safe and dangerous enough to keep it interesting. I always figured we’d have another go at the two of us recording together, this time without the interference of being perpetually off our heads! The thing about creating music is the ability to divine a thought or feeling even when reality says it’s a logical impossibility.”

Cale’s long-awaited tour is set to kick off on October 23rd in Edinburgh and concludes on November 11th in Liverpool after a run of eight dates across the UK. The full tour schedule can be seen below. 

Watch the official music video for John Cale’s new single, ‘Night Crawler’, below.

John Cale UK Tour 2022

  • Sun October 23rd – The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
  • Mon October 24th – Barbican, York
  • Fri Oct 28th – Llais Festival, Cardiff *
  • Mon October 31st – Playhouse Whitley Bay, Whitley Bay
  • Thu November 3rd – Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham
  • Mon November 7th – De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea
  • Wed November 9th – The London Palladium, London
  • Thun November 10th – Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge
  • Fri November 11th – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool