Tuesday 27 June 2017

Eight questions with Pete Gardiner

1. First up, who is Pete Gardiner?! 

Well I certainly wish you'd begun with an easier question. I'm not really sure I know the answer to this yet, but I feel confident I'm getting closer to it with every passing day, so maybe you could ask me again in a year or two.

2. How long have you been making music… any particular musical influences? 

Well, I'm 31 now, so just over half my life. I wrote my first song when I was 15 or so and it's been all downhill ever since. I'm influenced by a handful of bands from each decade going back the the 50s, but I've been most heavily influenced by Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan for a long time now.

3. In a couple of weeks time you’re playing for us at London’s Harrison with a special ‘in the rounds gig’ - have you played shows like this before? What should the audience expect? 

I've played this kind of event twice in my career. I'd like to play them more often. They've proven to be much more engaging than the average bar gig. All of the artists share the stage together and take turns performing one song at a time. Each track is usually introduced by the artist with maybe a little story about how it came about. It's an interesting format that allows the audience to hear 3 or 4 different songwriters at once while finding out a bit about them in the process. It's a welcome change from the usual way of listening to one set at a time.

4. You’ll be playing alongside Martha Bailey and Tom Hyatt - have you shared stages with them in the past? 

I've never met either if them. But I've listened to their music online. They're both very talented writers and I'm looking forward to playing with them.

5. Who is your audience and how do you connect with your fans? Any crazy, fun, exciting stories are very welcome. 

Well my audience is anyone from any age group. I'm not part of any scene or any clique or any genre. And it's not for lack of trying, it's just that no scene or clique or genre seems to want me. My songs are very lyrically driven. I just try my best to write honestly and I've been lucky enough to be complemented by people from all walks of life who have enjoyed the music. I guess my number one fan is anyone who carries a flame for a girl it didn't work with or someone who can see the funny side to everything that's desperately wrong with the world and our situation.

6. We’ve just seen that you’ve been invited to play at Cornbury Festival, great news! Have you been to the fest before? Is there anywhere else that fans can catch you over Summer? 

I'm really excited about this festival, I've never done it before but I hear good things. We have a website where all my gigs are regularly updated you can check it out and join my mailing list at petegardiner.co.uk

7. What would your dream gig entail? Any venues you’re desperate to play in the UK or further afield or artists you’d love to play alongside? 

Well the dream gig for me doesn't have anything to do with the venue, it's all down to the audience. When you go onstage you hope the audience will be hospitable and give your songs a chance. When you feel a crowd warming to you and you feel yourself warming to them it can create a very memorable evening. It doesn't always happen and you get nights when you can't find your way into the songs. But when it does happen and the crowd gives in it can be really special. I think I'd be a good support act for Foy Vance at the moment. I really enjoy his songs and I think it's be a good fit.

8. As we reach the halfway mark of 2017, what does the rest of the year hold for you?

Just a lot of writing I think. I'll spend some time in solitude and keep trying to hit on something useful. It takes me a long time to come up with anything I'm not embarrassed by. I've also had to change my writing style recently because I don't have a broken heart or any resentment towards any women these days and I haven't for quite some time, so I've had to rethink my whole career as a writer. I may even have to stop thinking about myself for once. We'll see what happens.

Pete Gardiner plays a special In The Rounds gig at The Harrison in London's King's Cross, alongside Martha Bailey and Tom Hyatt - tickets available here!

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