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Ryan McNee interviews singer songwriter Paul Crowe

This passing weekend I had the joy of speaking to Paul Crowe after his single release show in Leaf on Bold Street. As someone who has been a big fan of Paul’s music for a while it was great to see some new music played in a fresh and interesting way. Although the unexpected hint of a Shania Twayne cover sparked some interest, however sarcastic, the room felt like it was as ready for the set as I was.

The night started with Dylan Roberts who I massively regret to say I missed. Since catching up with his set on You Tube and thanks to Liverpool music scene legend Peter Kevan, I can say I won’t be missing him again. ‘All my Friends Have Grown Up’ is definitely one to get your ears around.

John Witherspoon took to the stage after Roberts with the introspective acoustic stylings those in the know have come to expect and love. Some heart string tuggers and a bit of dry wit in between always goes a long way. Two tunes that have to come as a pair and are always gladly received ‘My Dad’ and ‘My Mum’, always bring a smile to the face and maybe a tear to the eye. John was spot on, as per.

Not long after Paul and his band got started. It felt like watching a practice in the best possible way, everyone looking comfortable cracking jokes, it was one of the gigs where it feels like the band are playing music with the room not too them. As someone who has performed music, I can tell you that feeling isn’t an easy one to develop in a room, unless you know exactly what you’re doing. Paul and the band definitely did. It was also great to see up and coming artist Sam Addley on the keys for the set, watch out for his own work, definitely one to watch out for.

After all was said and done, I caught up with Paul over a pint to discuss the night and other things I was more than happy to get his perspective on.

Hello Paul, How’s the night been?

Hi mate, yeah, it’s been good, it’s been great?

Yeah not bad.

You enjoy it?

Absolute joy to be there mate. Felt like a room of people all together loved it.

It felt like a room of people meant to be there, really enjoyed it mate, think the most I’ve enjoyed a gig in ages.

It was a lovely vibe, boss mate great to see, right… I’ve got to be a bit professional now, can I ask a few questions?

Yeah, yeah course.

Thinking back to how you started, what was it that got you into music, how did it all start?

I think the first thing that got me into music, the first door. I had this box of records, I can still see it to be fair, it was an old ‘Co-op’ box in our back room. I think it was my dad’s mates, I’ll have to check, but I’m pretty sure. He was a DJ, so he had all Jive Bunny and songs of the day Madonna – all pop stuff, but it stopped three inches in. I remember thumbing through as a kid, then it went to the stones, then Madonna then The Kinks. At this time I knew about the Beatles and Dylan I knew the names but hadn’t made the link. Not to sound mystical about it like it was a box of records but for me it was the box in ours’, ‘What’s that in there?’ – it really become my box of records.

Ryan McNee interviews singer songwriter Paul Crowe
Photograph by Instant Media

How old do you think you were when you got into it?

I must have been about 9 or 10, but the thing is I loved all the pop of the day as a kid, ‘Right Said Fred’ I was into all that, I remember thinking that’s not the same thing… that, but that’s great too. It’s funny, I remember like when I was a kid there was an ownness on all the channels MTV and all that. VH1 there was a lot of focus on retro stuff. I remember Orbison, he had singles out. When I was a kid Orbison had songs out in the charts, I thought that was pop the same as Madonna, which I was having anyway. It just branches off from there, it’s all magic to me. I remember Roy Orbison had a video out before he died when I was about 9, can see it dead clear.

So is he up there for you would you say?

Oh yeah, there’s people better but he’s special to me.

Is he on the ‘Mount Rushmore’, if you had a ‘Mount Rushmore’ like, top four… can be more than four but…

No we’ll go for four ay, let’s keep it disciplined. I’d go Roy, without doubt, there’s two obvious ones for me, Roy and Neil young then the Beatles and Dylan.

No arguments here.

You’ve got to be ruthless with it, it’s not easy…

It’s tough and I’m sad to be the one who’s asked it.

Well you like bands and you love songs, but there’s only a handful of artists that you love. Like I don’t know these fellas, I’ve never met them, and I love them, it is wild isn’t it.

It really is mate.

I remember being 12-13 thinking that and I’m 42 now I still feel exactly the same way – its magic.

It’s great to try to get what they meant when they meant it definitely, is there any more cult artists, maybe a bit underground could shine a light on?

Well speaking to my mates I am, I’m a bad record bully, I’ll always push them on people I’m terrible for it.

It’s love in many ways…

It is, do you know what person is good and I haven’t seen get much love M Ward, he’s amazing. Nothing’s a secret anymore like but really, it used to do my head in a bit to be honest, like people thinking it’s cool because people haven’t heard it, but really its crap… crap.

Noone got onto it because its crap.

(both laugh) there’s been a lot of that.

Ryan McNee interviews singer songwriter Paul Crowe
Paul Crowe and Ryan McNee – Photograph by Instant Media

Oh yeah definitely, thinking more lately, is there any sort of modern stuff you’re getting into?

I’m always looking for something to be honest I’m quite compulsive too, when I get into something I get right into it, there’s a few around now I’m having a bit of, Willie J Healey and Flight are two that I really like but you’ve probably heard them.

I haven’t I’m not as cool as my jacket might make me look sadly…

Course you are from the same street as me (both laugh) I think there’s that much out there now we can’t possibly know everything, there’s that much were bombarded with people just get on with their own thing and find their own stuff which I think is great, and there’s times when it is only the odd song, there’s that and not much else but…

There’s still that song.

That’s enough, if someone gives you one great song in their lifetime, that’s still more than enough, that’s a lot to do really.

Definitely, I think one song can really hit home. If I can get you onto your newest, ‘Firecracker Dawn’, its one I’m big into…

Sometimes you’re writing a tune, and it can be a bit literal and sometimes there’s parts where you feel like it’s just been there, but that’s a straight love song that one.

Great mate, last question now and it’s been great speaking to you, what’s next?

Just the same as I’ve ever done mate, just keep writing songs, like a fisherman, just what I’ve always done keep writing songs. I’ll target Orbison and maybe not get there, but you can have a great time trying to get there and keep creating.

Brilliant, nice one, Paul great speaking to you.

And you mate.

With Thanks to Paul,

Ryan Mcnee


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