Interview: Hozier

Hozier1  “I’m still getting the hang of it, especially the fuss in the dressing room beforehand – meeting label people, music industry people, media people. All of that takes a while to acclimatise to, because you don’t fully realise how busy you can be right up until you’re walking onto the stage.

Interview: fka twigs

fka twigs  That’s twigs with a lower case ‘t’, to you, mate. Yes, people, we’re in the potential danger zone of being as pretentious as the next arty Big Thing, but when you have a chat with fka twigs (the woman formerly known as Tahliah Barnett) you come to the conclusion fairly quickly that she’s as normal as the rest of us.

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.

Album Review: U2 – Songs Of Innocence

Songs of Innocence  U2: Songs of Innocence (Island Records)

So how exactly does a bunch of very rich 50-something men, long since drifted away from their origins, and – quite likely – what inspired them in the first place, forge something that is both relevant to them and their audience?

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.