Dan Brown interviews local duo Gareth and Annie as they release their debut EP, A Little Light.
Steeped in Celtic culture and rich in stripped back and bare roots tradition, Cornwall’s natural heritage has always been a strong draw for musicians and the creative musings of people reviling in the arts and society of the region. Folk and acoustic acts have always drawn from the genuineness and authenticity exuded by the South West to produce music seeped in narrative and melody akin to the culture that it feeds off so well, leading to Cornwall having a roster of musicians who have gone on to be flagships of the folk community.
Capitalising on what Cornwall has to offer and making headway in stepping up to the same league as ones that have come before them, duo Gareth and Annie are now setting to debut their own compound of folk and pop abstractions with a new EP entitled A Little Light.
Both members of the duo have had success in the scene before their coming together, with Gareth Lee winning the 2012 ‘What’s On’ Solo Performer Of The Year competition and Anne Baylis regularly contributing to projects created by that of Brothers and Bones and Jack Wallen. Having joined forces, the duo has seen a credible amount of experience performing along side mainstream acts like Emily and The Woods, George Ezra and Bellowhead. The new EP, a raw and unrefined clutch of tunes, shows to act as a maker point for what they’ve achieved so far, and they inaugurated the release on the 28th of September at Lusty Glaze, Newquay.
In light of the occasion, the duo spoke to Rapture Magazine to talk about their history, who they are now, and influences of the project.
How did you end up as a duo?
G&A: Two friends suggested we should get together and play some music about 18 months ago, so we met up in a cottage in St Mawes and on our first meeting shot a video for the track ‘Lifeline’, which sparked off a little musical journey.
Who are your main music influences?
G&A: James Taylor, Ryan Adams, John Mayer, Fink, Ellenowen, Civil Wars, Bleu, Noah Gunderson, Glenn Hansard – there’s probably too many to list!
When and where was your first gig?
G&A: Eden Cafe, St Austell (December 2012)
What did you listen to when growing up and what was your first album?
Annie – Growing up: Del Amitri. First album: John Butler Trio.
Gareth – Growing up: Metallica. First album: Nivarna Incesdicide
Where is your favourite venue to play in Cornwall and elsewhere?
G&A: It was the Nightjar! We’re still looking for a new favourite! Lusty Glaze isn’t too bad… we are launching the EP there after all! Favourite place away from Cornwall is The Arts Centre in Painswick.
What is your favourite song to perform?
‘Biggest Enemies’ because it’s the newest and we’re not fed up of playing it yet.
What are your aspirations and plans for the next 12 months?
G&A: To get on a national tour and write and release a second EP.
If you could play on stage with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
G&A: Annie’s Great Gran.
What is the best gig you have ever been to?
Gareth: Fink at the Comedia in Bath.
Annie: The Peoples String Foundation at The Minack Theatre.
Who are you listening to on your iPod/ MP3 Player now?
Blair Dunlop – after seeing him play at the Acoustica Festival in Exeter a few weeks back, we’re total converts!
What do you think of the Cornish music scene and what improvements would you like to see?
It needs more venues were people actually go to listen to the music.
Are there any current Cornish artists you see going far?
The People’s String Foundation should go far! (They’re not from Cornwall technically but Harry Harding’s new EP is cool and Jack Wallen should definitely make it!
Do you have any pre-stage superstitions/ routines?
Not really, to get to a gig on time is a bit of a miracle!
What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to your while on stage or playing at a gig?
Gareth’s battery went dead in his guitar and he couldn’t work out what the problem was for ages, right in the middle of a track. Annie once got hiccups in the middle of the first dance at someone’s wedding.
Describe your music in three words
Infectious. Honest. Folk.
To find out more about Gareth & Annie, visit http://garethandanniemusic.co.uk