Credit: Howard Timberlake
Learn more about me
Credit: Howard Timberlake
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm technically a singer-songwriter, which tends to conjure up images of one person and their guitar, pouring out their soul from the corner of a noisy pub to anyone who may listen. The modern version of a wandering minstrel... but without the tasty medieval or Tudor clothing. I've been raised on a diet of the good, and more obvious, stuff - Led Zep, Queen, Dire Straits, Jethro Tull, Roxy Music, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Kate Bush, James Taylor, Black Sabbath... Prince too. And I'm also greatly influenced by slightly lesser-known artists such as The Incredible String Band, Gordon Lightfoot and Gerry Rafferty for example. That's folk, rock, metal, art-rock, and funk... then add in my love for classical, soul and pop too. With so many amazing genres swilling around in my head - it's quite hard to be contained by the singer-songwriter moniker.
There are a lot of emerging artists in the UK right now. What sets you apart from the rest?
In an era when most up and coming artists are so clinical, well-trained and perfectly formed, I've built my unique and rather organic sound over many (many) years. I'm about the emphasis on what makes a good song, and how it's performed with energy, integrity, and revelling in the odd imperfection... not obsessing over being note-perfect in the studio or on stage. We're in the business of entertainment for humans, not brain surgery.
What’s your back-story?
Many people in entertainment have a real crack at the big time early in their lives. My confidence, skill or even world awareness was nowhere near ready when I was 20... or even 30! I'm in my mid/late thirties now, and my songwriting is better, my musical abilities are in greater order, but most of all I've never lost the love for it. This is kind of where my new album Body of Work comes from - that evolution we all go through, whether in music or life in general.
What are you working on at the moment?
My new album, Body of Work, has just been released on 13th April, and now I'm looking to begin gigging again. Ideally with a band - I find open mic nights and solo gigs a little bit disconcerting.
What's the first song you remember hearing?
Probably 'Drive' by The Cars on my parent's car cassette player. Circa 1984/1985.
You're in a Karaoke Bar - What's your go to song?
Dare I admit this...? ...Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me - the George Michael and Elton John version. Not because it has any particular meaning to me personally, but just because it's a great song that is a good stretch, vocally. Or anything by Lionel Richie.
What was the first gig you went to?
Can't even remember. Something in Oxford, near where I grew up, probably.
Which song do you wish you'd written?
Dandelion Blues by The Incredible String Band. A beautiful, rather innocent song but full of character. Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen is also up there.
Which song changed your life?
Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin - I heard it on my parent's turntable when I was a child, and that ignited the slow-burning flame in me that is rock music.
Which song would you like played at your funeral?
Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of A New Day, by Jethro Tull.
What song is stuck in your head right now?
We Don't Need Another Hero by Tina Turner - I'm currently revisiting the Mad Max films with my wife.
What was the first Album you bought?
Queen II I think.
Which song made you want to play music?
If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot. Incredible atmosphere, imagery and sentimentality - everything a young, slightly lost, creative person like myself needed all those years ago in my very early 20s.