Interview: Kate Tempest

Kate Tempest  Impoverished urban background? Check. Misspent youth? Check. Salvation through love of music? Check. Such box-ticking comes across as the traditional story of how art can save your world, but in Kate Tempest’s case there’s a twist: this 27-year-old, southeast London-born woman channels her experiences (some not at all pretty) as instruments of energy and insight.

Interview: Julian Cope


Julian Cope  So which Julian Cope do you remember? The pop star Cope of Teardrop Explodes, the Liverpool post-punk band that enlivened Top of the Pops with reassuringly left-of-centre gems such as Treason and Reward? The solo Cope wrapped around a gravity-defying mic stand-cum-lectern as he crooned his solo hits, World Shut your Mouth and Trampolene?

Interview: Imelda May

Imelda May  It has taken several years, but as Dublin Liberties singer Imelda May knows only too well, patience is a virtue. In 2009, the then 34-year-old was little more than a lick on the lips of a mainstream audience. She had travelled over from Dublin to London ten years previously, looking for (in the words of a song she knew off by heart, Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild) “adventure and whatever comes our way”, only to discover that things don’t always work out the way you’d ideally want.

Interview: David Gray

David Gray  Even when he’s sitting on a comfy sofa, with a glass of iced water resting on a nearby table, David Gray’s overall demeanour seems taut, tense and not a little bit constricted. It was exactly the same over 20 years ago, when the UK singer-songwriter released his first pair of albums, A Century Ends (1993) and Flesh (1994), two records that crackled with the diatribes of Bob Dylan and the knots of Van Morrison, and fused them into a new kind of toughness – acidic, acerbic and melodic with a side order of bile.

Interview: Paolo Nutini

Paolo Nutini  Oh, by jingo it’s a long way from working the Saturday night shift in his parents’ chip shop. Back when Paolo Nutini was a teenager in his hometown of Paisley, just outside Glasgow, he’d make a few bob serving up singles, doubles and a side order of crisp onion rings in Caselvecchi Café.

Interview: Ben Watt


Ben Watt  We’ve been casually observing Ben Watt for the past 30 years, and we can say with a degree of authority that he has always had the demeanour of someone who would surely far prefer to be surrounded by books and culture and art than roadies and tour managers.

Interview: Elbow

Elbow There was a time when Elbow belonged to an anonymous bunch of UK bands that flittered around the limelight like moths only to disappear once the switch was dimmed. There was a time when Elbow were viewed as the kind of band that was difficult to pin down because there seemed to be very little remotely exciting about them.

Interview: James Vincent McMorrow

James Vincent McMorrow  James Vincent McMorrow wakes up to yet another day of blood, sweat, tears and glorious weather at Sonic Ranch, the residential recording studios located in a private country setting that borders the Rio Grande and Old Mexico. El Paso is about 40Kms away, but McMorrow isn’t in the mood for wandering.