What’s your favourite work at this point in time?
Tell us about your new single ‘Love Someone’?
It’s a relatively simple song about having love and empathy for other people, and came in part from thinking about the inhumane way we have treated asylum-seekers and refugees here for many years. I wanted to highlight that in many ways, we are all the same – we love the same, hurt the same, and want very similar things for ourselves and our families, whoever we are and wherever we are from. So why do we lock up asylum-seekers with unlimited mandatory detention if they arrive here looking for our help and support? Worse is the Government’s line: “If you arrive here by boat, you’ll never get to stay.”
This one – but doesn’t everyone say that?
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Maybe a pineapple – a bit prickly on the outside but lovely when you get into it. Loves the sea and sunshine, goes well with cocktails, shouldn’t be on a pizza, bit of a bad haircut.
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
Ha! These are usually quite involved but here’s one: The first time I went to Germany I was travelling in a hire car with guitarist Phil Wakeman and we were doing it old school, with maps only. We’d just played in Groningen in the Netherlands and had a show the next day at the ‘Hessen Festival’ or something similar. We found ‘Hessen’ on the map and got there in good time, early afternoon. Except ‘Hessen’ was a small farming village, with two houses, 500 cows and smelt like a load of manure, which we circled two or three times looking for the festival site. This attracted the attention of a traffic cop who asked us what we were doing. When we told him, he couldn’t stop laughing. Turns out we should have been at the festival of one of the biggest ‘regions’ in Germany called ‘Hessen’ rather than this little farming village. It was now too late to drive across the country to rectify the mistake (which was also pretty obvious with that enlightening bit of info when we looked again at the map.) He took pity on us though, and gave us a police escort to the only place within miles that had accommodation, found one of the few people in the small village that spoke reasonable English, and left us all at the pub. Each group he met he told our story to, and each fell about laughing. So did the landlord and the mob at the bar when we walked in. But hey, we ended up having a fabulous night, and made a load of new friends. And we never, ever, ever, again, travelled without a GPS.
What, or who, inspires you?
My family – without their support I couldn’t do any of it.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
There are lots of them, depending on what kind of mood I’m in or what I’ve just listened to. Maybe something by Willie Nelson, John Prine or Tom Waits, or Chrissie Hynde, or Amy Winehouse, Prince, Billie Holiday, Bowie, Joni Mitchell or Leonard Cohen. But I’ve got jeans on and it’s too hot for them – I’m going right now for Freddie Mercury/Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
What’s next for you?
I’ve got an album coming out later in the year. I’m looking to play a load more shows locally, and also to get overseas again before the year’s out. To be honest though, I’ll be happy if we can stay open and keep playing – the rest will be a bonus.
What’s your scene?
I was once a ‘rock’ in a Christmas pantomime that ran two shows a day, seven days a week for something like 8-12 weeks at Scunthorpe’s Civic Theater in England. When the wizard or maybe someone playing Ali Baba cast the spell “Open sesame!”, my job was to shuffle as the rock on stage to the right to open the cave door. That was my scene. I may have topped out right there.https://youtu.be/X2k1cxql2UM