Gideon Conn hails from the great city of Manchester and and he was recently in London for a few gigs. In between his performances he was cool enough to meet with the blog of wonder for a chat and some wine in a cave aka Gordon’s Wine Bar. Let’s see how we got on shall we?

The Wonder– Hi Gideon!

Gideon Conn– Hi!

W– I like your t-shirt. Did you design that? [Gideon is wearing a t-shirt with his smiling face on it]

GC– No, I didn’t. My friend who owns the clothing company Yes No Maybe did and he manufactures them and then I buy them off him. So I’m wearing it today cos I always wear them to the gigs. People see it and then they buy it.

W– Is it weird walking around with your face on, so to speak?

GC– I’m used to it, I don’t think anything of it now!

W– You’re pretty creative, with your music, artwork and clothing. When you get an idea how do you decide what avenue to go down to express it?

GC– My main focus is music. I spend 80% of my time practicing, rehearsing or gigging. The artwork is on the sidelines. When I have free time I do drawings for pleasure. Every now and again they sell, which is nice!

I’ll show you some of my drawings… I always carry a sketchbook with me when I’m travelling. [He shows us his some pretty cool drawings] I like the way people make shapes, the way they blend into each other. I also like the way architecture merges with the people around the space.

W– So how did your band come together?

GC– We met five years ago. I have a manager who said I’m going on my honeymoon in South America for 3 months sp please have a band by the time I get back. So I waited 2 and a half months, then I thought I’d better make a few calls…I met my drummer Nick, who’s an excellent drummer, from someone I knew. And the rest of the band sort of came together.

W– You’ve been on tour as a support act. What’s that like?

GC– It’s great cos you’re performing to a large audience who in general don’t know my music, haven’t heard of me and I can win them over. Yeah, it’s wonderful.

W– You’ve supported some big acts as well, like Jason Mraz.

GC– We did support Jason Mraz, there were thousands of people there each night and they were really warm. They loved it. I’ve also done a tour with Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip. They’re great, people I really admire, cos they’re quite unique. They’re a proper music band. I’d like to get more support tours. Jason did invite me to sing onstage with him, but I didn’t want to!

W– Why not?

GC– I don’t like his style of music!

W– Haha. Fair enough! What do you think of the genre that’s been used to describe your music, folk-hop?

GC– In one sense, fair enough, but it’s not enough. I just love great songs and that’s all I’m interested in, producing songs that I think will be really great songs, a sound that hasn’t been heard before. I’m not fussed about genre, it doesn’t bother me. I absorb a lot of styles a lot of music and it is there, but I wouldn’t say it’s recognisable.

Someone like Bob Dylan, has a unique quality in his voice. That is what will set aside exceptional artists, they have to have a voice of their own. People will know who they’re listening to.

W– Who are you listening to at the moment?

GC– What did I buy recently…I buy my music from charity shops, I look for classic albums that I haven’t heard before. I’ve got a double cd by the French musician Jacques Brel. I don’t know much about him cos I’ve only heard his cd once, but I think I’m really going to enjoy that one. I also bought an early album by the Roots.

W– I like the Roots.

GC– They’re amazing. The band has got a good set up. They’ve been at it a long time, they’re veterans.

W– You released your album in August, what was that experience like?

GC– It was a good time. The songs that are on the album, New Bop Sounds, were written over a long time. I narrowed it down to 12 songs that I thought would work well together. The album was recorded 18 months before the release. I was really pleased to get it out there for people to enjoy it.

W– What’s the response been like?

GC– From people that have heard it, I’ve had some lovely feedback, people have really enjoyed it.

W– When you write your music, how do come up with the lyrics?

GC– There’s a few different ways, but mostly I’ll have a melodic idea and then I’d probably get a chorus first and then the verse.

It’s a funny process, I don’t have it on tap. It just happens sometimes. Whatever I do, if I’m not feeling it that day then, y’know I always know there’s another song around the corner. At least I hope so anyway! At the moment, I’m quite happy. I wrote 4 songs in the last fortnight. For one of them, I was walking the dog, then I just had a melody and by the time I got home I already had a verse.

W– Is it frustrating that not all types of music is heard? It seems to be mainly pop songs that get all the attention. Not that I hate all pop music!

GC– That’s why 6 Music is such a great station. They have a playlist but they can fit in around that anything they want to play, which is great. It’s a rarity.

W– What bands inspire you?

GC– Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, he’s got a lot of soul. I like indie bands. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Maximo Park. I have a large music collection. Soul, jazz, a little bit of hip hop. I like the Beatles. There’s a timeless feel to their music. You could listen to their music now and it would sound contemporary.

W– Is that what you aim for? Making music that’s timeless?

GC– Yeah, I really do. I make a special effort to not make references to specific events as there’s no need to put them in. I write about love, family, universal themes that work in any country, for any age.

[And then in the middle of Gordon’s wine bar, we got an impromptu gig from Gideon. He played a new song that’ll feature on his next album. Awesome day!]

W– Is there anything you want to say to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?

GC– Just er, I hope they get the opportunity!

Well what do y’know, why not click on these links right here?!

Gideon’s WebsiteMyspace, Album.

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