Franco and the Dreadnought
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Franco and the Dreadnought

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter





Meeting John Blaylock was a highlighted experience for me and one I will not soon forget. I caught myself numerous times calling John, “Franco”, from the band name, “Franco and the Dreadnought”. I had to ask what was the story behind the name?

I wish my words could be read with the lovely accent he had when we spoke together as he chuckled, “Aw yes, good question. You see I play this guitar, a Martin guitar, which is called the Dreadnought. It is a signature shape that was named after a British naval ship, the “HMS Dreadnought”, which means fear nothing or dread not. Then I thought of a cool name that would sound good in front of it and stuck in Franco”.

He continued, “I also like to trick people. When they hear, Franco and the Dreadnought, they usually anticipate a big production and a huge band. Then I catch everyone by surprise when I come out with only myself and my acoustic guitar”.

In reality the surprise comes when you hear the music this man is able to portray on that signature guitar of his. He said much of his music career was influenced by Simon and Garfunkel and namely the styling’s of Paul Simon. There was a particular tune by them that he held himself accountable for learning. He targeted, “Kathy’s Song” as his gauge to determine when he would be ready as a musician to hit the road and perform in other countries. It took him about 6 months of nonstop playing to nail it and really understand the variations. Through achieving that goal it took his own playing to a new level. Now his work has a unique style all of its own.

His career started as the front man for the band, “The International One”. They were signed to a Record label but were dropped after accruing a huge debt to the label. While with the band John was approached by Desmond Tutu. Nelson Mandela was celebrating his 90th birthday and Desmond Tutu had asked John to write a song celebrating Mandela’s life. He later gave the song to Mandela as a birthday gift. After that the band was invited to a charity celebrity football game and were asked to perform it live at the match.

Well, you do not hear stories like that every day and John was as humble about that as he is everything else. I asked him what kind of emotions does a person go through when an opportunity like this is laid in someone’s lap.

He said, “In preparation of writing the song I read his autobiography and learned so much more about a man that already had me awe struck. There are no words to describe what I felt”.

Soon after things were going awry with the band situation, John was looking to move forward as a solo act and then Franco and the Dreadnought was born. He has been going strong ever since. He misses the camaraderie you get from being in a band but being solo certainly has its perks as well.

He started taking advantage of those opportunities and was touring more and hitting new and exciting venues, this stirred his creativity and he began writing even more than ever before.

He said, “When you write a song with a band you then have to get everyone’s approval, and it takes months before everyone learns it and it could be even longer before we are performing it live? Where as on my own, I can write a song one day and play it live that same night. It is incredible to get instant feedback on a new song. To actually perform a song when it is fresh is so amazing. I write a whole lot more now as a solo artist then I did as a band. I feel I have more freedom and that inspires more action”.

He continued, “I’m always on the look out as a songwriter for words or phrases that stand out. Then subconsciously I was thinking I’m the last man standing and I thought this was fitting for my solo project”.

If you have not heard this CD you are missing out. You can also read a review of the CD here at Skope, Every song on, “Last Man Standing”, is as compelling as the one before it. Lyrically he opens your mind to his world. I felt like I knew him personally after one listen.

Franco and the Dreadnought is an enigma with the ability to take over your senses. The coming year looks like an exciting one for him, with his new singles coming out in February and April. He will be constantly touring all over the UK and I have been campaigning myself trying to get him to come to our neck of the woods.

He is active on social media and loves to keep track of his fans. Find him on Facebook and follow his career. The music is spellbinding and his friendship is genuine.

By: Rebecca Hosking – -

"Franco & The Dreadnought - Last Man Standing"

Franco and the Dreadnought, Last Man Standing

October 31, 2011 | by Skope

Franco and the Dreadnought is British sensation John Blaylock. His debut CD, “Last Man Standing” is a collection of meaningful heart felt songs. He has a voice with sincerity and promise. Simply by listening to his music gives life a whole new eloquence.

So rarely does an artist come along with this amount of depth. When he sings it comes from his soul. He shares his feelings openly and willingly. His voice is a natural story teller. It is conceptually pure in quality. He could sing about bubble gum and make it sound meaningful. But he doesn’t sing about bubble gum. Lyrically there is a confidence that paints whimsical pictures of love and triumph.

His guitar dominates and creates a passion you never knew existed. As his fingers glide across the strings the melodies invade your thoughts. It feels like he wrote every song only for you. He is reminiscent of Howie Day. He has a similar sound with powerful melodic interchanges. But when he sings every now and again you can hear a tiny twinge of his British accent which in my opinion gives him a significant signature sound.

Franco and the Dreadnought’s debut CD, “Last Man Standing” is music that invades your soul. It’s mellow under tones dances into your sub conscience and replays over and over in your head. John Blaylock is as refreshing and a crisp autumn breeze. No music collection would be complete with out this CD in it and the music you may have already even pales in its comparison.

Rebecca Hosking –

Rating: ?????




By Adriana Rubio

“Franco and the Dreadnought” is an acoustic music act from Manchester, UK performed by gifted solo artist John Blaylock (Aka Franco). Franco was born in England in May of 1982. He is a multi-instrumentalist talented musician. Franco sings, plays guitar, piano, drums, keyboards and bass guitar. He met his music partner, Martin, in 1999 in a music store… a Martin DXME Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar! They became inseparable music friends since then.

Some years ago “Franco and the Dreadnought” were signed by “International One” as a solo artist project with songwriting and melodies that go right to the heart. The album is filled with stunning acoustic and piano tunes. Franco's musical compositions are undoubtedly delightful. Singing melodies and lyrics are lovable. There’s no doubt that Franco and Martin are a perfect match.

As a result of the uniqueness of Franco’s acoustic music sets, the band signed two non-exclusive licensing deals with “Silvercurve Management” in New York and “Blue Pie Media” in Australia. Franco’s music has attracted the attention of many. A management deal to release 4 singles over the next 12 months with “Animal Farm” in London was also signed.

Among all the deals signed, songwriting, rehearsals and recording sessions, the band plays live gigs at “RockNess Festival”, “Dentdale Music + Beer Festival” and “Bakewell Acoustic Festival”.

After many successful years with “International One”, “Franco and the Dreadnoughts” did a self-release song which was played on Radio 1 by Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq on Radio 2 plus it was Clint Boon's single of the week on XFM.

All this together opened the doors to a new record deal with a label under “UNIVERSAL”. On the same page, Franco was asked personally by Desmond Tutu, a 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, to write a song celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela. The archbishop gave it as a gift to Mr. Mandela for his 90th birthday.

There is a busy agenda on Franco’s musical career. The band will be touring Scotland in September 2011 and recording in London. Also, drum and bass remix of “Bulletproof” is expected to be released by “Dangerous New Age Records” in September.

The passion Franco feels for music is unquestionable. The band never worries about anything not even under unfavorable weather conditions. “Franco and the Dreadnought” performed the “Rockness Festival” at 6:00 pm on a Saturday night, having a train back home at 9:00 am on Sunday. No tent around so Franco and his Martin DXME Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar stayed up all night doing acoustic shows round the campsite but it just rained hard all night! Still played lots of songs for the enjoyment of many.

For further info on Franco’s band, touring, new recording deals and best of all to listen to the music, please visit the 6 Track EP site at: - Adriana Rubio

"Franco + The Dreadnought have news"

Franco and The Dreadnought's song "Bulletproof" was given a Drum n Bass remix by Manchester Sunrise and has been released by Dangerous New Age Records this week, please check out the awesome video HERE
In other news Franco has just finalised a management and recording deal with The Animal Farm in London to record and release 4 singles over the next 12 months. Recording starts on September 8th!
But wait there's more! Franco and The Dreadnought's first tour has just been announced, following successful shows at 3 different festivals this summer. Franco The Dreadnought has been booked for a tour or Scotland playing 5 shows in 4 days across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Bathgate and Motherwell from September 22nd to the 25th.
For more information on Franco and the Dreadnought check out his profile in the Blue Pie artist roster! CLICK HERE - Hurricane Healing News

"About Franco & The Dreadnought"

Franco, lead singer of hit Manchester band, International One, embarks on a solo project with songwriting and melodies at the core. This is a collection of acoustic and piano tunes, simple stripped back arrangements to let the songs really come out.

After many years with International One the band did a self release which was played by Zane Lowe on Radio 1, Steve Lamacq on Radio 2 and was Clint Boon's single of the week on XFM. This led to the band signing a record deal with a label under UNIVERSAL. Franco was asked personally by Desmond Tutu to write a song celebrating the life of Nelson Mandella, the archbishop gave it as a gift to Mr Mandella for his 90th birthday. Unfortunately the label went under in the recession sparking Franco's solo career.

Fortunately though for Blue Pie, Franco went solo and brought us an amazing collection of tracks that we are distributing to the world. Franco and the Dreadnought are heart-warming, spine-tingling Indie-acoustic music. Stay tuned as Franco and his amazing songwriting prowess are bound to cause a stir on the Airwaves very shortly.

For more information, or to license this artist, check out
- You

"Franco & The Dreadnought Live In Spain"

Franco & The Dreadnought
July 18, 2011 by admin | Leave a comment
Franco & The Dreadnought: Last Man Standing

Franco & The Dreadnought live in Albir.

Original live music, as opposed to the multitude of boring cover bands doing the rounds, is so very hard to find in this part of Spain. Ok my last post highlighted Iggy Pop, a true original so I suppose it’s been a good week for music. Franco & The Dreadnought – The Dreadnought being the name of his guitar – is the former lead singer of Manchester band International One. Now pursuing a solo career his music has been described as “heart-warming, spine-tingling Indie-acoustic music.” I love a good old electric guitar thrash a la The Stooges or MC5 but in quieter moments I can be found listening to acoustic stuff from the likes of Nick Drake or Elliot Smith. Franco’s songs, like the aforementioned Elliot Smith, had an intricacy in their arrangements that didn’t detract from the good old fashioned melodies and they sounded like a breath of fresh air in an area of Spain that is deprived of new and original music. I would urge you check his music out here at - Brian Hickey Photography

"Facebook Comments from last two festivals"

Tom Hardman
Awesome at Dent. You made the weekend for us. Keep up the good work!
15 minutes ago · LikeUnlike ·

Natalie Roberts
you were amazing at dent, you have an amazing voice,, you will definately go far - well done :) !
48 minutes ago · LikeUnlike ·

Michael Reissing
one of if not the best performance at dent for me mate well done
Yesterday at 8:05pm · LikeUnlike ·

Kevin Tristan Lawrence He was good wasn't he Mike.. Great lyrics Franco, got real talent there so wish you all the best in the future. :)

Janine Lingard
you blew me away to!!! listening to your music now! let me know if your playing soon x

Ella Roberts
you blew me away last night at dent! amazing you are going to go far!
Yesterday at 3:09pm · LikeUnlike ·

Fraser Penman
Awesome mate! U were on at Rockness before us "The Draymin" check us out on itunes, soundcloud. I got a card of you. Bulletproof and Last man standing standing are classics! Thought u were brilliant!
June 14 at 11:49pm via iPhone · LikeUnlike ·

Felicity Sampays
Woke up on sunday morning at rockness to hear you singing behind my tent, definately made my weekend! :) x
June 13 at 2:18pm · LikeUnlike ·

Jamie MacPherson
we woke to you singing on sunday morning at rockness, your voice is simply beautiful.
June 13 at 2:16pm · LikeUnlike ·

Katelyn Rose Sargent very good just listened to the tracks! AMAZING

"National Press"

"Bloody Gorgeous" - Daily Star

"Internet Review"

"The songs are laced with poetic melody and blinding hooks" -

"Radio Quote"

"Absolutely Awesome" - Conrad Murray XFM / SJM

"Radio Quote"

"Really Mellow and Heartfelt" - Zane Lowe Radio 1


Moonshine + Roses ( - played on Radio 1, Radio 2, MTV2, Skuzz and others

Inyaniso ( gift for Nelson Mandella



Franco and the Dreadnought announces himself on the scene with his powerhouse voice and agile fingers. This young lad has the goods and the capability of packing arenas full of people waving their lighters in the air and singing along with every fibre of their being. He and his trusty sidekick, the Dreadnought, are bound to move the masses into musical bliss.

It is awe inspiring to hear an acoustic song such as “BulletProof” convey the sweet, melt your heart sentiment of Damien Rice while creating the same emotive impact as the arena rock of Oasis. His singing and playing exude confidence and while making no attempt at covering up his English inflections, his delivery is all the more real and raw.

Franco is no stranger to success and as a testament to the power of his musical ability, he was asked personally by Desmond Tutu to write a song celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela. The archbishop gave the song entitled "Inyaniso" (translation - "Truth") as a gift to Mr Mandela for his 90th birthday.

Previously Franco was the songwriter and front man for International One, who signed a record deal with a subsidiary of UNIVERSAL RECORDS. Shortly after the label went under in the recession causing Franco to partner up with his acoustic guitar and embark on a solo career.

Franco and the Dreadnought have released a 6 track EP of well recorded demos which is currently being played on radio stations worldwide!

Having recently recorded 4 singles with the Prestigious Animal Farm label and produced a brilliant music video. Franco's debut single "Last Man Standing" is set for release at the start of August

Franco and The Dreadnought are currently celebrating a publishing / representation deal agreed in May this year with Respect Music!

An independent dance label have jumped on Last Man Standing and are now working on a set of remixes with big names like J Majik and Wickaman pitching in. 5 remixes are set for a 7 week national club promo campaign in August

The live shows have been amazing, Franco is currently playing 3 a weekend building up a good fan base of good, welcoming, enthusiastic people all over the country