Stephen Fretwell

Fri 11 March, 20:30
£22.50 + booking fee

“From the tiniest relationship detail to our greater place in the cosmos, the singer asks life’s big and small questions with grace and grandeur.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

2021 has been a hugely successful year for Stephen Fretwell. Rave reviews greeted his comeback album Busy Guy upon its July release and more accolades have followed with Guy Garvey selecting it as his Album of the Year on 6 Music and the LP featuring in MOJO’s AOTY list. Having recently performed a sold-out UK tour Fretwell announces news of further tour dates in UK & Ireland for February and March 2022, culminating in his London date at Grand Junction.

Presented by SJM.


“Fretwell has a knack for turning mundane, everyday tales into delicate ballads. The sardonically titled Busy Guy is a beautifully stripped-down acoustic record that recaptures
what made him special in the first place, now with added mid-life poignancy.”

The Guardian

“To little more than acoustic guitar and subtle shading, Fretwell’s serpentine, heart-tugging melodies and richly detailed, Leonard Cohen-esque lyrics draw you
deep into a world of transience, loss and stubborn optimism.”

Sunday Times

“Magnificent... Fretwell has turned quotidian drama into hypnotic beauty.”

Record Collector – 4 stars ****

Further acclaim for Busy Guy:

“A touching and intimate series of songs… Using mostly acoustic guitar and some keyboard, Fretwell delivers a series of poignant vignettes. Several are rooted in London geography,
including two of the highlights – the exceptional ‘Embankment’ and the gorgeously meandering, flamenco-infused ‘Almond’.” Uncut – 8/10

“A mesmerising record… Busy Guy stands at roughly equidistant tangents to Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen – imagine the fragile sensitivity of the former applied to the sombre sparseness
and poetic precision of the latter – and the calibre of the songwriting here justifies such benchmarks.” Metro – 4 stars ****

“The understated approach allows him to tackle life’s big issues with sublime melody and thoughtful expression… One of the year’s most rewarding comebacks.” The Sun – 4.5/5

“A dazzling display of technical and emotional virtuosity, ‘Busy Guy’ is an incredible experience, a work of true intimacy from a songwriter whose return is long overdue. Magical.” Clash – 9/10

“Embankment and Oval conjure images of lonely streets and detachment, isolation and love… Underpinning it all is Fretwell’s smoky voice and Dan Carey’s subtle production – glorious.”
HiFi Choice – 4 stars ****

“Fretwell draws the listener into these enigmatic tales, with their dreamlike, cinematic flow.” HiFi News – 8/10

“Makes for a fascinating listen as you try to get inside these often-complex song stories.” Rock’n’Reel – 4 stars ****

“Fretwell’s voice sounds more evocative, rich and expressive than it ever has done before.” Louder Than War

Date: Fri 11 March 2022

Start Time: 20:30

Doors: 19:30

Length: TBC

Tickets: £22.50 + booking fee

Venue: Grand Junction is a new venue for the community, arts and culture based at St Mary Magdalene Church. Our mission is to create and present an eclectic, collaborative programme of music, arts and performance for young people, families and adults. We also have a café serving delicious food overlooking the canal.

Covid-19 Policy for this event 

In line with guidance from the UK Government, this performance is on sale at full capacity.

For the safety and enjoyment of our audiences and staff, Grand Junction will follow a number of Covid safety measures:

If you have tested positive for Covid-19 or are feeling unwell, and experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19 (in particular high temperature, cough, or sore throat), we ask you to stay at home and not travel to the event. 

From Friday 10 December the government requires face coverings to be worn in indoor venues. As such, we will require audience members over the age of 12 to wear face masks whilst in the building, unless exempt. This includes during the performance, unless you are eating or drinking. Staff and volunteers are also required to wear face masks.

The capacity of Grand Junction means that it is not required for visitors to show proof of vaccination or a negative test as a condition of entry. If this becomes a mandatory requirement for venues of our size, we will update the information on this page accordingly.

We invite all visitors to check in using the NHS Test and Trace app. Although no longer compulsory this will help keep everyone safe.

We encourage all visitors to take a lateral flow test on the day of their visit. Staff are also testing regularly.

Where possible, please observe social distancing while moving around the building.

Hand sanitiser stations are positioned around the building.

Careful consideration of entry and exit points to avoid crowding. We will check your ticket at the entrance to the venue to avoid queuing and crowds forming indoors.

Regular cleaning and regular ventilation of the space, to ensure a flow of clean air.

Click here to view Grand Junction’s full Covid-safety information. Please feel free to contact us at if you have any further questions.