Zines & Whirling Dervishes: Lianne Hall writes for indieBerlin

by | indieBerlin

Lianne Hall released an album last week; next week she’s showing it off. Right now, she’s telling us how she got there.

Write the 9th March in your diary to hear Lianne and her band play the new album in full. It’s an unselfconscious, pensive work, available in all forms now.

The Caretaker album cover by Lianne Hall

I got started when…

…when my dad showed me some chords on guitar and played me some choice records at an impressionable age (John Lee Hooker, John Fahey…). He also told me about a DJ on BBC Radio 1 called John Peel. I became one of those teenagers listening to his show late at night, ready on the pause button, taping songs, making tapes. I discovered so much music that way.

Peel also used to shout about zines. Those were the days of sending a stamped address envelope to someone somewhere in Glasgow or Harlow or wherever. Every other day there’s be exciting post coming through the door. Letters, zines, tapes and records.

A few years later I was on his TV show, making him a cup of tea and singing a song. I never thought I was cool enough to be played on his show, let alone go to the BBC Maida Vale Studios and record a session. The fact I can call him a fan still blows my mind.

I write my songs…

…music first then words later. Usually a lot lot later. Often the sound gives me a few words and then the rest is a long puzzle to see where the song wants to go, what it wants to be about.

I sometimes think I go about things the long way.

Big gigs or small…

…I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum, from being in the headline band of a major festival to playing in the smallest corner of the furthest field away from the main stage.

Once we played after some whirling dervishes. One audience member didn’t stop slowly whirling round and during our set he had a terrible accident and fell as the tip of his novelty mushroom hat got entangled in a dream catcher hanging in the tent.

I guess smaller gigs can be the most nerve wracking but if the sound is good and the audience is with you, they’re often the most fun.

Album launch poster for Lianne Hall

In ten years I’ll think…

…that I should’ve got a proper job. With prospects and a pension.

On tour I listen to…

…anything that isn’t song based, experimental electronics and noise. I’m a big fan of Sculpture. Love the last Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufield album ‘Never were the Way she was’. And I recently discovered Matana Roberts ‘Coin Coin’ series, those records sound amazing. If I need a blast of energy I listen to the Downtown Boys, or one of the Rachel Aggs bands, currently the new Sacred Paws album which is just wonderful.

I thought I’d mention…

…I’m singing on the new release from Mwstard, a post-punk bank from Wales, featuring one of my former band mates from Witchknot. It’s a great album. [Editor’s note: it is! http://www.mwstard.com]

I’m also in a project called Lavender Hex which has become a feminist folk party dungeon music concept album. That’ll be out later in 2017.

Come along to Lianne’s launch party next Thursday 9th March.

Hear the latest Moa McKay Single Heartbreak Billie