13 Questions with Simon Waldram – Giant penguins and Guinness

Simon Waldram has been making music for at least the past 17 years, both under his own name and in collaborations with others. Here’s what he made of our 13 Questions.

A random Facebook add and a plug for his new EP, Into The Blue made us sit up and take notice about Simon Waldram. And despite the fact he may appear to sound like a singer / songwriter, he disclaims that description, even going so far as to say he doesn’t even like singer / songwriters.

And to be fair, his prolific output features a number of other singers, poets and musicians joining in to create a remarkable body of work that deserves wider recognition.

We could tell he was different and intriguing. And so it proves to be.

The new EP is a delightful, mournful journey to visions of the sea, swirling birds and a voice that is almost a cross between Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen. It’s hauntingly beautiful and has been released now because it arrived too late to be included on 2019’s album of the same name.

Simon also doubles up with thrash punk band Dynamite For Partisans, a very different proposition from his solo work, but equally worthwhile checking out. We’ll be having a chat with them in a few weeks time. They may be two parts of the same person, but they don’t really inhabit the same world.

So, here goes:

  1. Where are you and what are you doing?

Chesterfield, listening to ‘Everywhere at the End of Time’ by The Caretaker, drinking Guinness and writing this.

  1. What is your favourite view?

Standing on the shore, looking out to the endless blue of the sea.

  1. What is your favourite swear word and why?

I like the versatility of ‘shit’.

  1. What was the first record / cd you bought with your own money?

Martika’s first album (on cassette)

  1. Marmite. Yes, or no?

Hell, Yes (although Vegemite is a little better somehow)

  1. If you could go to a gig right now, anywhere in the world, which band would you see? And in which venue?

The Cannanes at Nottingham Rescue Rooms

  1. Who are your musical influences?

In no particular order: The Go-Betweens, Mazzy Star, Galaxie 500, Joy Division, The Triffids, The Cannanes, R. Stevie Moore, Sebadoh, You Am I, Nirvana, The Beatles, The Velvet Underground, Nick Drake, Windy & Carl, Cocteau Twins, Throwing Muses, The Replacements, Husker Du, Unrest, The Chameleons, The Sound, Kevin Hewick, Steven X Davies, Mylene Farmer, Felicia Atkinson, The Damned, Wire, The Raincoats, Yoko Ono, Daniel Johnston, The Vaselines, The Field Mice, Caifanes, Float, Television Personalities, Sleepers, Memorial Day, Propagandi, Black Flag, Embrace (the 80s American post hardcore band, not the shitty English one)

  1. How do you like your eggs?

I’m vegan so I don’t.

  1. Tell us something we don’t know.

In 2017 the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt in Germany analysed fossilized remains of an ancient “mega penguin” from New Zealand which weighed 100 kilograms and was 6 feet tall.

  1. Which city do you recommend we visit – and why?

Nottingham. Great people, great music, great bars. It’s brilliant.

  1. What’s your drink of choice?

Guinness

  1. What band or album do you think we should check out right now?

Underworld Floods – Melanie Pegge.

  1. Do you have anything else to declare?

I still like that Martika album.

Image credits: Lead image – Phillip Vernon. EP artwork – Fern Wesson

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