Having grown up in County Durham and its thriving folk scene, singer-songwriter Harri Endersby has been surrounded by music for most of her life. She’s set to play her next major spectacle at ARC in Stockton on Saturday 17th February so Jack Dodsworth caught up with her to talk about her folk-inspired melodies, playing live, and her latest album.
Hailing from the North East, how does it feel to play a gig in the region you call home compared to performing elsewhere across the UK?
I love playing gigs close to home. My songs are strongly connected with the place and it’s nice when the audience know and can connect with the places that I sing about. It’s also been really exciting to play gigs further afield and being able to share a little bit of the North East with new audiences.
The majority of your music is in the folk genre, but what/who have been your main inspirations for your songs?
I spend a lot of my spare time walking the fields, hills and coast of County Durham and my new album ‘Homes/Lives’ is really a celebration of the North East and, in particular, the landscape. There is a real rugged beauty here and I try to capture some of it through the words and feel of my songs.
I also get such a buzz from going to see live music of different genres, ranging from Northumberland’s Kathryn Tickell, Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir, or a local artist singing in a pub. I always feel inspired watching people passionately performing beautiful music.
Is there a particular song that you just love to play live, whether from your recent album or previous work?
These days, I most often perform in a duo with my husband Rich so we have to get creative with our performance in order to create a full sound with just the two of us. This is particularly fun to do with percussion by using whatever spare limb we have available! We love to play ‘Shadows’ from our 2014 EP ‘Ivy Crown’; it’s got a strong beat and always feels good to play.
For newcomers/new-readers, how would you summarise your latest album within 3 words?
Fields, sky, sea.
How do you relax before going on stage? Do you have any before-gig rituals?
I tend to get lots of nervous energy before playing so I move around a lot and do a little dance or something if there’s no one around. Thankfully, those nerves seem to disappear once I get singing, start concentrating on the songs and connecting with the audience.
And a final question. If you could cover any song, maybe live, which song would you cover?
I’ve just very recently arranged a version of Johnny Flynn’s theme song for the BBC series ‘The Detectorists’. There is something very special about that collection of words and notes, and it might very well pop up in our new tour set list…
Tickets for Harri Endersby’s ARC in Stockton gig, priced at £8.50 in advance, are available now by heading to arconline.co.uk.