Interviewed on Radio

After my recent single release (my version of ‘Whiskey in the Jar’) , I was interviewed by Dave Rhodes on a station called RTI and this was broadcast twice last week and features some of my songs . However , its still available on the above internet archive (if you’ve an hour to spare!)

John Cullimore; Singer, Songwriter and Surgeon

Wiltshire-based singer songwriter John Cullimore grew up in Liverpool in the 1960s, in the heart of the “Merseybeat” sound, which became synonymous with the Beatles, the Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers and many others. Steeped in this early new wave of exciting ‘pop’ music, it was a natural  step for John to begin to write his own: beginning at the tender age of 13 and continuing to compose and produce his own original music and musical covers today , fitting this around his career as a Surgeon.

His latest  project is a version of ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ to be released on St Patrick’s day (17th March) and commemorates his recent application for Irish citizenship, which became available to him  based on his family’s heritage.

‘Whiskey in the Jar’ is perhaps one of the most extensively covered songs in history, but John believes he has composed a unique arrangement which will be appreciated by those already familiar with the song as well as younger listeners who may have not yet appreciated its power and the lilting, tongue-in-cheek appeal of its genre.

John’s style is reminiscent of 70’s rock with added influences from Bruce Hornsby, Tears for Fears and Steely Dan, partly reflecting his experience as keyboard player in ‘Strictly Dan’, a Steely Dan tribute band based in the South of England.  

However, John acknowledges that his songwriting was perhaps most influenced by two things.

 Firstly, his career as a  specialist surgeon has given him a unique insight into the way we live our lives, witnessing the struggle many have with sickness, pain and loss.

 Secondly, the influence of a poet who lived in Wiltshire, Alfred Williams, about whose life and work John wrote and produced a successful musical. entitled  “The Hammerman”  , and in whose life John sees parallels with his own. 

The musical was based on his album  of the same name , and gained funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and played successfully  in Swindon in 2010 , and was revived in 2012, with John an active participant in the Show band in both productions

What of John’s own artistic ‘modus operandi’? As a longstanding author, John maintains that as far as his own his own songwriting is concerned, it always starts with the lyric, which has an overwhelming impact on the evolving shape and feel of the song. As for the subject material of his music, that is truly wide ranging from songs about his childhood and heritage, his concerns for the ecology of the planet, his family, his passions and love for the countryside and even his ‘Little Black Car’,(a VW) , an ‘almost’ hit which has received nearly 70,000 views on Youtube…

John has recorded 11-studio albums, working closely with producer Nick Beere for the last 12-years. His latest album has been reviewed by local freelance journalist Graham Carter, and his review can be seen by clicking here .

Web references 

 YouTube channel 


 live performances as well as recordings of some original songs.

all tracks  from ‘Splendid Island’  can be previewed here


Personal website

Review of my new album ‘Splendid Island’ by freelance Journalist Graham Carter

‘If ever there was a time for quiet contemplation and appreciation of what we hold most dear, then 2020 is it – which is lucky if, like John Cullimore, those two things are your trademarks.

His music always provides complementary portions of unhurried reflection and upbeat tunes celebrating life’s inspirations – and his latest album, Splendid Island, is a case in point.

The island of the title is Sri Lanka, and the album opens with a suite of four tracks dedicated to it and its people, culminating in the appropriately multi-layered, unconventional and mystical Universal (a strong contender for best track on the album).

All four tracks echo travels in the Sub-Continent by writer Alfred Williams, the inspiration for John’s landmark album, The Hammerman, and Williams is also referenced in Rise Up. Written some years ago, to help adapt The Hammerman as a stage musical, it is a typically thoughtful and suitably stirring addition that therefore sits well in Splendid Island.

You may also detect the spirit of Williams the naturalist in the happy Spanish Moss, a charming track with a bright guitar solo, which somehow comes out sunnier even than John’s effective Beach Boys cover, Keep an Eye on Summer

While the Sri Lankan suite may be a timely reminder of how foreign destinations inspired us in happier days, the rest of the album demonstrates that in these stranger times, inspiration can (and should) also be found closer to home.

So there are tracks celebrating the joys of family (Queen of the Skies), a pet (Unconditional) and a rainy afternoon. 

Rainy Afternoon is the purest, most stripped-back, uncomplicated acoustic track you are likely to hear from anyone this year, and is precisely two minutes and 17 seconds of proof that the beautifully simple can also be simply beautiful.

Splendid Island is evidence that John Cullimore, a retired surgeon, is making splendid use of his time, and in this extraordinary year, one can’t help but also conclude that it is just what the doctor ordered.’

Splendid Island available on Spotify from tomorrow , 13th November 2020

My latest single release, and other recent musical activities

Late in May , one of my songs ‘Little Black Car’ was released as a single , along with an accompanying videO which has had over 50,000 views on YouTube. See the video at ;

There is also the excellent news that it has been selected for the playlist on at lease one radio station in Lisbon Portugal .

I have also used the lockdown to establish my YouTube music channel, where you can see videos and performances of many of my songs , and some cover songs . Please check out ;

John Cullimore You Tube channel

I have also used the lockdown to fundraise for the charity Age UK’s Coronavirus appeal .Myself and a group of Swindon musicians have used our musical skills to fundraise for this important charity. Please see;