Interview: Gavin James
Chatty, Charming Irishman Graces Gorilla
Words: Tanisha Hanna-Beards
Under the glistening lights of not one but two disco balls, with purple mist spilling into the hushed room, it’s difficult to refrain from falling in love with the smooth falsetto of Gavin James. With his Irish charm and a set list packed full of crowd-pleasers, this extremely talented singer-songwriter is on track for big things.
Prior to this intimate, acoustic gig, tucked away in Gorilla’s, cosy little green room Gavin tackles the couple of questions thrown at him as if it were a chat amongst old friends. Whilst deliberating over the menu in search of his post-gig meal of the evening, I begin to fire away…
So how are you feeling about playing in Manchester tonight? Have you played here before?
Yeah yeah I’m so excited! I’ve been a few times and played at the Deaf Institute before too. It’s got a pretty cool vibe in there. It’s sweet. Like, it reminds me of burlesque or something.
So having been to Manchester before, what are you expecting the audience to be like tonight?
I literally have no idea like it’s really strange in a good way because normally they’re super quiet and really chill and, like they sing, and they’re really chilled again. It’s just really strange and sometimes kinda eerie. I love rowdy, rowdy, rowdy, rowdy cus’ it’s easier on stage like.
You prefer a bit of audience involvement then? Does that mean you have a favourite song to play live?
Yeah I love a bit of them singing and stuff. That’s why I like Book of Love. It’s the only love song in the set.
The new album, Bitter Pill seems quite emotional though. Do you normally write about love or…?
I just kinda write about anything really, yeah anything. Like if I feel sorta sad I’ll write about it and then I don’t really feel sad any more. But most of it’s about friends and friendship I guess and a lot of relationships that didn’t go very well. Oh and my time growing up in Dublin when I was younger.
I’ve noticed you like to do a lot of acoustic covers too. If you could cover any song, what would you do?
Ahh man that’s a pretty hard question! Like, I don’t know. Maybe Bohemian Rhapsody but I’d probably need a bit of help on that one. Or maybe like Fairytale of New York 'cause I love that song.
Covers are clearly a love of yours, but what about touring. What’s the best thing about going on tour?
Well I love touring but like I get a bit tired. Like now I’m a bit eugh but later I’ll try and wake myself up before the gig. Then I usually get a bit too excited, I start talking way too fast and nobody understands a f***ing word I’m saying. Nightmare, nightmare.
You’ve kept this tour short and sweet so if you could extend it and go anywhere in the world to play a gig, where would you play?
I don’t know. Like venue wise that’s quite difficult I don’t know but like if I could go anywhere errrmm, I’m thinking somewhere mental like maybe the Empire State building or something like that. As long as people aren’t scared of heights though.
So we’ve pretty much covered music but here’s the killer question… Do you have your custard hot or cold?
Ooooh that’s hard but it depends what you’re putting it on? Like if you’re having a hot apple pie it’s gotta be cold custard but like bananas and custard maybe warm too. I’m not a huge fan of custard though. Custard is kinda like icing and I don’t like icing so I’d probably have like ice cream or something instead cause’ ice cream is kinda like icing. Ahh you’ve made me hungry now!
Making Gavin feel peckish before the show must have been somewhat motivational as the performances from both him and the support acts, Declan Greene and Craig Gallagher, were outstanding. Even as an acoustic set with only his guitar for company on stage, his presence and charisma lit up the room even more than the glistening lights of the disco balls.