Where are you from?
The Wirral, by Liverpool.
What do you do?
I sing, play guitar and perform and write tunes.
Describe your style in three words
Always in check.
What kind of music defines the teenage you?
It would be Oasis, probably. Being in school, I’d always be listening to music at school on a mini-disc. I’d make compilations, I was a big fan of the mini-disc! So, Oasis, The Verve, and I also liked Badly Drawn Boy when he first came out. I’d always be listening to music and going off in a daydream.
A song from your favourite album?
I’m listening to a lot of punk and post-punk, and I’ve been really obsessed with that first Damned album. There’s a song on there called ‘Neat Neat Neat’ that I’ve just been hammering. I’ve been listening to a lot of post punk; like the Cramps, the Misfits...
A British icon or sound that inspires your sound
I’m trying not to just say Oasis! I’ll go with the Beatles. They definitely had an impact on me, from their music and their style. I guess that goes for Oasis and Paul Weller too.
What new bands are you listening to at the moment?
I do like Cabbage.
What’s been your all-time favourite gig that you’ve been to?
I have mentioned this a lot, but one of the first ever gigs I went to when I was about 15, was the Super Furry Animals in Liverpool. It was one of the first gigs I ever went to and I really looked forward to it. We were down at the front and really loving it, in the mosh pit. That gig, and Oasis comes to mind.
What was it like growing up near Liverpool at that time?
That was the start of the Coral, and I sort of grew up around that time. Seeing them on stage for the first time made me go, “wow… I want to do that. If they can do it, then I’m gonna give it a go.” It was definitely inspiring being around that and seeing it for the first time, it was a good vibe. Every Saturday I used to go this club called La Bateau - downstairs was Indie and upstairs was Soul and Motown - I think that changed my life! I remember getting matey with the DJ upstairs, Paul. He put me onto so many cool obscure Northern Soul records and then he’d always give me a lift home. A lot of getting into all of that, and delving deeper is down to Paul!
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Playing live is everything. It does so much for me. It’s the best form of release. It’s my favourite thing in all of this, making music, writing music. It’s where I get the biggest kick.
How did working with Jamie T and Lana Del Rey come about on Loaded?
Jamie and I are close mates and we’ve said for the last ten years that we should work together. He was over in LA doing a gig, and he extended his trip by a week so we could hang out and write together, see if we had a vibe playing guitar.
At the time of his gig, I was going through a break-up so I was staying in his hotel and he was there for me through all of that. As I walked into this tiny bar, Lana was stood there. I’d only met her once or twice before and she looked at me, and said, “what’s up with you – girl trouble?!”
We watched Jamie, and I told her we were going to be writing. The next day, she face-timed us in the afternoon – no texts, straight on face time! We’d written Loaded that morning, and we did the verses, all lyrics, the melody and we hadn’t got a chorus on it. She came over that afternoon and wanted to try something on the chorus, and she nailed this amazing melody – basically she smashed it.
It’s one of the favourite tunes I’ve done. I love it, I’m excited.
What have you been listening to lately?
They’re a couple of new tunes I’ve been listening to; the Coral’s new song called Sweet Release, and Father John Misty’s new song called Disappointed Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All. Kimbra - Top of the World. Plus T-Rex – Life’s a Gas.
If you could be on the line up with any other band in history, who would you choose?
If you could spend an hour with anyone from history, who would it be?
Diana Ross. I love Motown and when I was young, I got a bit obsessed with the Supremes. Baby Love, and all those classics, they remind me of dancing with my mum.
A song to end an all-nighter?
I’m not really into them slow, depressing songs. I guess it would just be something to keep going! Let’s do a Bee Gee’s song – Nights on Broadway.