You’ve just announced a UK headline tour – are you excited to get back out on the road?
Massively excited – it’s the best thing in the world. There’s nothing like playing your own show to people who are there to see you and who know your songs.
What’s your favourite song to play live?
It changes all the time to be honest! We’re still switching the live show around a lot, but at the moment it’s probably Words and Nothing More. Who knows what it will be next week!
You supported Lewis Watson on his UK tour – how was it?
It was awesome. I wasn’t really sure what to expect to be honest, as I’d just come from supporting Lucy Spraggan on her sold-out UK tour, but it was absolutely great. Lewis is such a nice guy, and it was great to be there – I’d never really been invited on a support tour before I supported Lucy and Lewis, so they were both pretty special. It’s always nice when the crowd get involved with your songs on a support tour – when you play a headline show the people there normally know your songs, so they’ll normally join in. To be able to get people to sing along to your songs when you’re on a support tour is pretty special. I think there’s something nice about just playing by yourself too, because I think people are more inclined to support you and get behind you if it’s just you up there with an acoustic guitar.
You’ve released the entirety of your #OneSongaWeek challenge on iTunes in a huge compilation album – what made you want to do a song every week?!
I don’t know really, there wasn’t much of a thought process behind it! I just woke up on the second of January and I was like ‘what am I gonna do with my life?’, so naturally I decided it would be a good idea to write, record and release a song a week throughout the whole year… It was a bit of a punt to be honest, but since I’d been a little bit musically inactive for a year or so I thought I might as well give it a go.
You collaborated with artists such as Newton Faulkner and Ed Sheeran throughout the duration of #OneSongaWeek – was this always the plan?
I basically wrote a list of guys I wanted to write songs with at the beginning of the year – of course, there were people on that list who were never going to agree to it, so I literally couldn’t believe that guys like Ed and Newton were willing to get involved. I guess if you just get on with something more people eventually get involved, leading to more people noticing it and therefore to even more people getting involved. I think my favourite thing about last year was just the levels of human kindness, with people mucking in with ideas and putting their necks on the line for the song. There were a few artists who weren’t up to that pressure, but it’s just amazing to have worked with the guys who did get involved.
What’s your favourite song from #OneSongaWeek?
I don’t know, it changes all the time! I guess Things I Do will always be one of my favourites – I’d only bought a ukulele from Amazon a couple of weeks before, so to sit down with it and come up with that pretty much as soon as I started playing it was pretty special. I like Flaws and Ceilings, If I Die Tomorrow… It’s hard to pick a favourite!
You’ve just released your London Eye EP – what made you want to record an entire EP in one London Eye rotation?
I don’t know! I seem to spend my time thinking of stupid ideas, and as soon as people say yes to them I’m kinda obliged to carry on with them… It was really cool, I couldn’t believe that the London Eye let us do it. It was a logistical nightmare, but it was absolutely amazing.
You say you ‘almost quit’ during Week Nine of #OneSongaWeek – was this serious?
Yeah, definitely – I guess I just questioned why I was doing it. It was quite a thankless task, but I set myself a deadline and there would have been disappointed people if I had decided to jack it in. It wasn’t until Week Thirty or so that I decided that it was definitely a good idea, so there was always an element of doubt.
You’ve been playing festivals all over the place this summer – do you prefer playing festivals or your own headline shows?
I’d hate to say that I definitely prefer my own headline sets, purely because everyone’s there to see you. You also get, like, two hours to soundcheck, while at a festival you just bundle on to the stage and hope for the best! We played Barn On The Farm a few weeks ago, which was really special.
Have you got any plans to release a traditional album?
Yeah, there are definitely plans in this noggin… It won’t be a full-length album, but we might have something out in the autumn of this year. I’d like to think we’ll just pop a single out this year before following it up with an album next year. There’s a lot of recording going on right now, so I’m still deciding how I want it to sound. It’s just nice to be in a proper recording studio – recording in Ray Davies’ studio is a lot different to recording on a little patch of carpet in my living room (which is what I’m used to), so it’s definitely a nice change!
What made you want to start playing music in the first place?
I’ve always had an interest in music – I used to sing along to stuff like Buddy Holly when I was really young, and I used to steal the mouthpiece to my brother’s trumpet and try to play the Robin Hood theme tune. I don’t think the songwriting really started until I started hearing stuff like Blink 182 – I could relate to the songs and I decided that I wanted to start writing.
Who are your main musical inspirations?
Lyrically, probably Mike Skinner. The social commentary on the first Streets album is just amazing. The Crimea are one of my favourite bands – their first album (Tragedy Rocks) is one of those albums that I listen to and start to feel a little bit depressed because I know I’ll never be able to write anything that good.
Can you describe yourself in three words?
Far too honest.