Monday, 4 July 2011

Indietracks interview #17: Chris T-T

Chris T-T is an independent English writer and musician. Since 1999 he has made seven studio albums, most recently Love Is Not Rescue, released in 2010 by Xtra Mile Recordings. His LPs include the 'London trilogy' of albums themed around London; The 253 (2001), London Is Sinking (2003) and Capital (2008).

Already consistently acclaimed for a decade, in recent years Chris T-T has emerged from insurgent roots and he is quietly developing into a major influence over a generation of UK punk/folk artists. His music veers from early albums of psych folk (years before it was de rigeur) to radical left agit prop; from hard-edged alt-rock to piano-led treacle-black heartbreak. Chris will be playing on the church stage on the Saturday evening at this year's Indietracks festival.

Hi Chris, what music are you enjoying at the moment?

I just fell back in love with My First Tooth from Northampton, who I already knew for ages as a great duo but their four-piece lineup is gorgeous live.

I always bang on about Tom Williams & The Boat, but there's no need now, the world's discovered them, they're all over the place. People should also seek out Something Beginning With L from Brixton, signed to Glasgow DIY label Armellodie, they do, um, girl-led guitar fuzz shoegaze meets glitchy electro. And their coming LP is immense.

Tell us about an unusual place you've played a gig in the past

Well I've got Ambridge Organics in Borchester listed on my current tour poster, which will be familiar to a few Radio 4 people... I've played a lot of odd corners and silly gatherings, like in the desert at Joshua Tree - but one unusual thing was a solo gig on the fourth plinth on Trafalgar Square, as part of Anthony Gormley's One And Other project - I was picked at random to get an hour up there. It was a perfect setting and a fun gig but to be honest I spent the entire time terrified of falling down, I hadn't realised how precarious it was.

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

Straight after Indietracks (and a few days on the Isle Of Man) I'm going up to Edinburgh Fringe with a one-man show called Chris T-T Sings A.A. Milne. It does what it says on the tin really - most importantly it's suitable for families. I've not done anything like it before, so I'm excited and nervous. Don't care if the audiences are small (I've been warned about Edinburgh), I just want the show itself to kick arse.

In autumn there's new music to release and tour, including a bunch of songs about Jeremy Clarkson that may become a concept EP or even album. After that, I don't know.

What attracted you to play the Indietracks festival?

I particularly wanted to play Indietracks for three reasons: first, the obvious: the trains. I can't wait to nose around the site and the trains. Secondly, simply because it's a festival I haven't done before, in a summer of festivals I've played loads of times. Thirdly, probably most importantly, the proper 'music fan' nature of the lineup - it expressed genuine taste and love for music, rather than ticking boxes. I'm not fooled by even the nicer, smaller festivals, who've reached a point where you can read the lineup as a meritocracy of how good each band's PR guff is.

Thanks Chris - see you at the festival!

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