It’s a late January evening and you join us as we’re being turned away from a Thai restaurant in Andover, Hampshire. “We have nothing available,” they…
Pitching up at Normafest a few weeks ago, David Suff was one of the first faces we spotted in main hall. With his exceptional beard (hipsters, take note), the current Mr Topic Records (and acclaimed artist) is not easily missed, and I made a beeline for his stall, as much to try and engage him in conversation as to check out his wares.
One of the reasons I started the blog aspect of The Grizzly Folk website is that I’m fascinated by the stories that sit behind many of my favourite songs. Whether they’re old traditionals or brand new tunes, there’s nearly always a reason for their existence. And so I thought I’d try and dig about a bit and see what I could find.
Back in 2008, I flew to Tokyo to meet Saya, the mercurial vocalist with Tenniscoats. We initially made contact in conjunction with our 4th Tada Sampler, and – truth be told – I’d become something of a Tenniscoats junkie in the interim. Though she’d been delightful in our email correspondence, I found myself vaguely nervous about meeting her in person.
‘We are singing about life, the great game of poesy. We are speaking of the truth from and at our eyes… the mode of nomadic life from the Tamashek people we love.’
– Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, Tinariwen
I interviewed Graham Coxon, a huge hero of mine, for Time Out in 2009. At the time, Graham was promoting The Spinning Top, an album that owed a lot to late 1960s folk troubadours such as Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. I remember it as a tough interview. I rarely get starstruck. Maybe chatting with the man I’d seen so many times in concert through me a bit. If he’s ever up for a repeat performance, I’d be game!