I’m a big big fan of Gerrard having seen him playing both solo and as one of the Wobbly Brothers. Quite simply he is a man of many talents and you’re going to get to see the phenomenal guitar playing and lovely voice ones when you come to Youth Anthems #15. Have a read of me gushing all about him here, pick up a ticket for the gig here and then have a read just below (little warning if your younger family members are reading – there’s a couple of bands mentioned with swears in their names!):
When did you start playing live? Have you always been a solo troubadour or did you start off in bands?
I really started playing live at the same time I started to write songs, when I was 19, I did however do bass as a favour to a friend of mine with a deathcore/metalcore band called ‘Blood of the Scribe’ a long time before I started writing or singing, but it wasn’t really for me. I do also play violin for a band called H.Morse, and various instruments for a protest-folk duo called The Wobbly Brothers
How did you end up in the Bradford/Leeds area and how does it compare to previous locations?
I came to Bradford from Nottingham to study peace studies at the university, and then I just stayed around after I got my degree. as for previous locations it was only really a couple of places in Nottingham that I’d played and I still play there when I can but to be honest I still haven’t taken off there much
How do you find writing, recording and playing live/touring as a solo musician? Does it ever get lonely?
Thinking about your musical influences who would you recommend to people wanting to delve more into your sound?
Well, I try and sound as different from the musicians who influence me as possible at the moment I think my main influences for writing and performing are: The Last Whole Earth Catalogue, Chrissy Barnacle, ME REX, Crywank (especially his newest album), Faith Taylor, Lilith Ai and, although she sadly doesn’t make music any more it seems, I’m always telling people to listen to my friend Rosie Rowland (ROMA and the Rest) who still has a lot of stuff online. I’m also a huge fan of That Fucking Tank, Family Elan and I’ve got into Richard Dawson in a pretty big way too.
Do you have any words of advice for any young people wanting to try their hand at song writing or performing?
I don’t think I could advise anyone on writing as it’s quite a varied thing. When it comes to performing I think the best advice I can give is look out for people trying to give you loads of advice on your performance after seeing it once. there are usually, at DIY gigs, certain types who feel that after seeing a single performance by someone they see exactly where you’re coming from, what you’re getting at and why you’re doing it wrong, as if everything you did would be perfect if you listened to them even though they’ve only seen you once, even though they didn’t even bother buying a CD. Humour those people if you need to but don’t ever take them seriously.
You’re someone who’s done lot of gigging, what’s your most memorable good and bad experience from playing live?
Hard to choose, I actually think my favourite gig I did may have been a house-show I did in Leeds at my former house-mate’s place, as well as me playing there was one of my old house mates doing some semi-improvisational story-telling and some travelling musicians do some more experimental stuff, one had a thumb piano attached to his guitar and the other claimed he had lost all of his instruments on the way and got everyone else to make sounds for him, it’s kind of hard to explain but it was really fun. There are so many worsts to pick from so I’ll just chose the last worst one I did; I was in Scotland and played at a bar where some off-duty police where having a work-night out, they came in drunk pretty much exactly as I started, talked and shouted all the way through my set and for some reason left as soon as my set was over, no one heard I thing I played. Thankfully they’d left before the people I was touring with played, and also the guy who’d put us up that night was awesome too so it wasn’t a total disaster, just the gig side of it
You seem to release most of your music as singles on Bandcamp rather than as longer releases or as physical ones. Is that just so you can get your music out quicker or is there some other thinking behind it?
No, it’s pretty much so I can get it out faster, I can be a bit of a perfectionist (despite the recording quality) and if I sit on a song for too long I end up just feeling embarrassed by it and never put it out, I think by now almost half the songs I’ve written have been thrown away and forgotten, because I didn’t just get them out there sooner.
With That Old Chestnut being at our gigs we’re big pudding fans so what’s your top three desserts?
3. Satsumas (or Tangerines, Mandarins, Clementines, tiny oranges etc) 2. Vegan ice cream, preferably with some kind of 3. vegan chocolate cake 1. Vegan chocolate cake, preferably with some kind of vegan ice cream – and if there’s any tiny oranges about even better