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Interview: Robert Vincent

Crosby born singer-songwriter Rob Vincent is fresh from touring with Justin Currie and Paul Carrack, and having released his debut album Life in easy steps we took the time out to talk to Rob about his new single, homecoming gigs and seeing squirrels in Freshfield...

Your new single ‘Second Chance’ from your debut album Life in easy steps has just been released - What’s the story behind it?

It’s to do with a lot of things really. I’d gone through the motions of working in bands and working with different management, but then I decided to go it alone. It’s kind of about my experience within the music industry over the last 10 or 15 years.


Speaking of which, your album is called Life in easy steps. Is it really that easy to make it as a musician?

Oh no, it’s still always going to be hard; finding the time, money and of course pushing yourself. It’s so self motivated but it’s one of the best things you can do. Life in easy steps really ties in with ‘Second Chance’. You know, if you had a book that spelt it all out for us would life be any easier? The whole album is based around that theme.


What kick started your career as a musician?

Well I was in school, in the choir actually. It’s one of the best trainings you can have I think. I remember they gave me a recorder to start playing, and then I came back within a week having learnt all of the book! They said to me “Oh you’ve got a really good pitch so let’s try you out with singing”, and I ended up singing in the choir. It kind of graduated into school bands and continued from there until I had my own band and started writing my own music.

I’m from Crosby originally and my Mum took me to see the squirrels in Freshfield, which is surrounded by large houses, and my mum swears that even though I was just under 3 years old I said to her “When I’m a rich rock star...I’m going to buy you one of those houses!” (Laughs) I can’t remember saying it but that’s what she tells me so I suppose that desire has always been there.


Were there any bands either from Liverpool or who played here that really inspired you?

There were loads of Liverpool bands like The Real People who were doing well, and we used to go to the old Flying Picket to watch them. We used to go watch loads of bands there. There were quite a few original artists who used to play in Crosby like Phil Jones, and he had a band called Up and Running so we used to go and see them. There were loads of different bands around but I was really sitting at home listening to Pink Floyd, plus my dad had loads of country records that I used to listen to. They were my inspirations really.


So listening to Pink Floyd was really one of the most inspirational moments for you…

Yeah definitely. I used to share a room with my brother and he used to listen to Pink Floyd really loud when I was trying to get to sleep! I was probably about 10 or 11 when I started listening to it; it was lyrical side that really hit me more. I used to write a lot of stories and poems as a kid so it was more Roger Water’s lyrics that hit me at first, and then you start getting into the musical side of things. As I said my dad also listened to all the country records so that’s why my music has a little twang of Americana.


You’ve recently been supporting Paul Carrack on his UK tour, including a performance the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 17th January. What a way to start the year…

Oh it was amazing. It was completely sold out and the people of Liverpool were great; so lovely and very welcoming. It’s a lovely venue to play and to play to a big Liverpool crowd, as I said they’re always very welcoming.


You’re performing a homecoming gig yourself on 28th February at the Scandinavian Church. What was the allure of such a venue?

Well I spent so much time away from Liverpool last year, so when I come back to perform in Liverpool I want to do something a bit more special. I wanted to find venues where the audience would go “Oh it’ll be different to see a gig in that venue and see what it’s like”. I’d heard a couple of people say that they had done a couple of gigs at the Scandinavian Church, so I went to check it out and was just blown away by the room. It’s absolutely lovely. When you go to these little venues like churches, you’re blown away even before the band starts playing! I think people want to go to see a gig now where the venue is just as much a memory as the band is.


So with the release of your new single and the album, what are your plans for the upcoming year?

I’m actually contemplating on new recordings at the minute, which will hopefully be out around summer or September maybe. More gigging of course! I’ll probably be doing a little headline tour around May, so I’ll probably go back to some of the places I have been touring around with Paul [Carrack]. It’ll be for everyone who just wants to come out and see a show.


Any gig highlights so far? Of course apart from the Paul Carrack tour…

Yeah I mean, even people like Justin Currie from Del Amitri. They’re going back on the road themselves and I had a support slot with Justin last year in January and February. He’s one of those songwriters I grew up listening to as well, so to do that with him was great. That was a big highlight. Playing gigs in the Camp & Furnace, which is a brilliant place to play, that’s another highlight too. The Philharmonic show with Paul Carrack though, definitely that was a highlight!

Robert Vincent is performing at the Scandanavian Church on 28th February 2014. For more information please visit www.robertvincentmusic.com

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    Sarah's posts By Sarah O' Hara
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