A while back I was lucky enough to interview the fantastic Claire Nicolson. It was Toothpaste & Whisky that made her come to my attention. Now that song was very upbeat and there was a blues twang to it which I really adored. The video which accompanied that single was really quirky and eccentric. Last month saw the release of You & I which was a collaboration with Yellowhammer. Now this pop song was both soothing and mellowing at the same time.
Well here is what Nicolson had to say:
Last year you embarked on the Sing For Your Supper tour. How did this unique idea come about?
I’ve been singing for my supper at friends houses and pubs for a long time. People may not have the money and I’ve always been happy to play so they’d make sure I was fed and watered and everyone was happy. It occured to me to take it out on the road as trying to get decent support slots or a tour of dates when no one really knows you is quite tricky so thus “Sing for Your Supper” was born. I can’t tell you how much fun it’s been too. A great way to gig and just get on with it really.
You’re actually a classically trained musician but what made you want to pursue a career as a solo artist?
Well we say solo but I couldn’t do it without my fabulous band The Paramedics I think i was meant to be a solo artist from the beginning but I never had the confidence.. Sessioning gave me so much confidence and I got to a point where I wondered what was next. it felt right and was the only way forward really.
What can we expect from your debut album 52 Card Pick Up when it is released lated this year?
It’s cheeky a bit naughty here and there, quite dark lyrics but with a happy twist to the music and I hope it’ll put a smile on your face.
What is your favourite song to sing live and why?
My own song? Pot Kettle Black – I wrote it about my 2 best friends who ended up married after creating havoc everywhere they went for ages! The punters always seen to shout for it.
A cover? Take another piece of my heart by Janis Joplin.
What made you want to share a room with a Scorpion during the recording of 52 Card Pick Up?
I never actually wanted to share a room with the scorpion. It was just there.. and I had no idea what to do with it so I lived with it but avoided it at all costs. I eventually rand the guy who owned the little barn and he just took his boot off and squished it. Why didn’t I think of that??
If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
Johnny Cash. Who wouldn’t want to. His voice is like velvet.
Who would say are your musical influences?
I have so many due to 3 older brothers very different taste but here are some…
Nick Drake, Karen Dalton, JJ Cale, 10 Years After, Led Zeplin
What was your first musical instrument and where did you get it from?
A violin, my mother made sure I started early.
Describe your music in three words?
Acoustic folk Pop
Who is your favourite artist/ band at the moment?
I’m loving Villagers but I heard a great track called Buffalo by The Pheonix Foundation the other day.
What are your goals for 2011?
To gig. As much as possible as that’s what it’s all about!
Debut album 52 Card Pick Up is due to be released Summer 2011
For more on Claire go to: