Category Archives: Interviews

Matt Andersen: An Honest Man at The Borderline

(Photo credit: Colin Robertson)

Matt Andersen’s tour schedule is not for sissies. In the next two weeks the Canadian singer plays 13 shows taking him and his acoustic guitar from London to Stockholm, by way of Hamburg and Amsterdam. And that’s the way he likes it.

“I get more excited about tough schedules than find them daunting,” he reveals. “I like that kind of thing where you’re jetsetting – makes it feel rock ‘n roll, I guess,” he laughs.

“All that tiredness, and all that driving around and flying, that stuff is the worst part of what we do – but we still get to perform. And I think that’s the payoff for a lot of us,” Andersen points out.

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Ferris & Sylvester: Setting the tone for what’s to come

After being part of the same Camden music scene for almost a year, Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester found they shared a love of Italian food, Bob Dylan, and Iceland. When they found they could write songs together, Ferris & Sylvester was born.

As they prepare to release their debut EP, ‘The Yellow Line’, the duo tell us about the single ‘Save Yourself’, the importance of drinking tea, recording in Spain, and working with the producer of such classic albums as The Verve’s ‘Urban Hymns’ and Crowded House’s ‘Together Alone’.

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Shawn James: Standing on the shoulders of giants

Shawn James is much more than yet another guy with an acoustic guitar – he brings grit, raw passion, and darkness to a musical tradition as old as the hills. Fresh off his first visit to the UK, the singer-songwriter tells us about the impact of having his song ‘Through The Valley’ featured in the trailer for PlayStation game ‘The Last Of Us 2’, recording at the legendary Sun Studios, caring less about what people think, standing on the shoulders of giants, and British accents.

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Meadowlark: I just want you to know

Since releasing their debut EP back in 2015, Meadowlark have been gaining a dedicated following with their catchy, but intelligent, synth-led songs.

As the duo prepare to release their first full-length album, ‘Postcards’, on 30 June, Kate McGill tells us about recording in a church, long walks in he woods, why she and bandmate Dan Broadley work so well together, the album’s that’s influenced them most, wanting to sing like Ariana Grande, and her favourite biscuits.

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Dan Patlansky: Big things going down

(Photo credit: Peter Noble)

Dan Patlansky isn’t one for standing still.

“I’m always trying to further myself as a player and what I can do,” the South African guitarist reveals, “by putting in the hours and coming up with fresh ideas – be it in terms of note choice and phrasing, or musicality I’m trying to work on. And so in small ways I’m reinventing myself, by adding on to what I can already do.”

Reinvention is something Patlansky’s certainly familiar with – he’s been doing it for the past 20 years.

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Lonely The Brave: I want to know what it’s like

Lonely The Brave | KOKO | 5 April 2017

Playing half-empty venues, from the front of the stage, to people not even there to see you, support slots can be challenging. But, fresh off their own headline tour, Lonely The Brave are certainly up for the challenge.

Nestled between Fatherson and headliners Mallory Knox, the Cambridge five-piece stuff eight of their biggest songs into 40 sweaty minutes characterised by circle pits, headbanging, raised fists, and enthusiastic shouting along from the punters who’ve almost filled KOKO already.

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sir Was: Heaven is here

Joel Wästberg, known to his fans as sir Was, has just released his debut album, ‘Digging A Tunnel’. Written and performed entirely by the Gothenburg-based multi-instrumentalist, it’s a highly personal collection of songs blending hip-hop, soul, and electronica, drawing inspiration from the likes of Moondog, My Bloody Valentine, and D’Angelo via Sly and the Family Stone, The Beatles, and Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Ahead of his performance at Birthdays, he tells us about recording the LP, learning to play everything from sax to drums, the thrill of South Africa’s minibus taxis, having a machine gun pointed at him during a border crossing, playing in José González’ band, and the “zone” of live performance.

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