Sunderland outfit The Lake Poets are set to play a prestigious date at Sage, Gateshead this month so Lee Allcock caught up with frontman Martin Longstaff to talk about what gig-goers can expect.
What’s your favourite thing about playing gigs in the North East?
Everyone understands what I’m craicing on about on stage! And the reception – it’s amazing to hear people singing along too. You get it here and there around the UK and overseas but at home, it’s out in force.
At a recent gig in Hartlepool for Music v Cancer (great cause) you mentioned that you’re going to be bringing a new album out in 2019. Do you have any further details about that that you can share?
We’re about to go into the studio over winter to get stuck in. Because of other projects I’ve been a part of this year, I’ve met a lot of new players and musicians who have made a big impression on me that I’m really keen to work with. At the moment, I’m thinking of returning to warm guitars, story songs and lush strings.
You also mentioned at that gig that ‘Edinburgh’ isn’t actually a love song as you previously noted, but it’s about an argument you had with your girlfriend about J.K. Rowling. Can you tell me more about that?
For years I’ve spun a tale about it being an intensely personal song about a tragic relationship breakdown and emotional abuse, and I suppose it is, but really I wrote it after getting smashed on Edinburgh’s Rose St and getting it in my head that I was sitting next to J.K. Rowling at the bar. My lass said otherwise, we had a daft back and forth, and looking back on it it’s more than likely she was completely and 100% right.
What other North East bands do you think people should be following and why?
I’ve got a lot of time for and really enjoy the music of Eve Simpson, This Little Bird, Vandebilt, Rachael McShane, Pit Pony, and if anyone reading likes pure riffs please check out our new band, White Legs.
A number of your songs are written about living in the region including ‘City by the Sea‘, for example. What makes you proud to say that you’re from the North East?
I’ve been to a lot of cool places and experienced lots of new and different things thanks to music and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, give or take, but the North East still tops the lot. It made me what I am, gave me the drive to get up and play, and its history and contemporary issues give me endless inspiration – I truly wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
The Lake Poets play Sage, Gateshead on Saturday 3rd November. Tickets, priced at £13.10 in advance, are available from sagegateshead.com.