THIS WEEK:ALEX HIGHTON
Alex Highton is a singer/songwriter originally from Liverpool,now decamped to rural Cambridgeshire.
Alex first came my way a couple of weeks ago when an online friend(Ian Roberts-cheers mate) shared the video of Alex’s sublime song ‘Stupid’.
I was instantly smitten,not just by his plentiful tache and beard or the cheeky shirt collar over soft sweater ensemble,those were items sent from the room above to tempt us in before he shows us his real teeth -his voice & his words-his true weapons of choice.
As regular readers of Prick and Ding will know,I think you can flash your guns with an acoustic guitar as well as you can with an electric axe and though I can often be found bending my ears to the full range of sonic noise i must confess that recent times have seen me find favour and flavour in the power of a well written song set to minimal accompaniment & minimal effects.
Alex Highton is a real gold medal prospect in this field,a songwriter who know’s what he wants and how to get it.The outcome is a pleasure for the listening and the viewer.
He has a very fine album out called ‘Wooddittion Wives Club’ that shows his talent for blissful,thoughtful songs that wash over you like a warm summers day with stories collected from a life of a keen observer,a quick learner & sharp lyricist to boot.
From his album is the song ‘Hip with the kids’ ,a song that feels like its been in your brain for donkeys but just didn’t have a title for it-now you do :-).
I’ve also included that wonderfully bitter sweet bite of a song that first introduced me to Alex-‘Stupid’ the live recording video featuring Jonny Bridgwood on double bass. This is a song that showcases his deft ability with a lyric and a sweet melancholy tone that in my book puts him on a level playing field with Peers such as Arctic Monkey’s Alex Turner.The story he paints feels so real & honest I wanted to pick him and say-its alright son,its gonna be ok!.
I cant recommend Alex Highton enough,I know his album is going to be a firm favourite for many moons to come at Snippet Towers,I suggest you go and find out some more about this fella and let us know at Fresh on the net what you think.
1.What are you up to at the moment?
Sitting here with a cup of tea, occasionally picking up the guitar and wondering how to answer these questions. Music wise? We’ve just shot a video for “I Left The City”, that was fun. Although I spent half the day hung up on a washing line, having buckets of freezing cold water poured over my head, so upon recollection I’m not so sure exactly how much fun it was. It should be good though. I’ve Wilderness Festival coming up on the 9th of August and other than just gearing up for the imminent European release of Woodditton Wives Club.
2.Favourite childhood memory?
Going to Speke Airport (now John Lennon International), sitting in the cafe with my mum and watching the planes take off. Was probably just a way for her to keep me amused in the long summer holidays, but I always look back on that really fondly. Reminds me that little moments to one person, can be big moments to another. I try remember that with my own kids.
5.What/who makes you laugh?
My wife. She makes me laugh every day. Amongst other things she’s always getting song lyrics wrong. “Street Light” instead of “Street Life” was a particularly good one. I have no idea what she thought that song was about.
6.Describe what you do?
I write songs and I sing them. I tried to find a better answer but each time I just sounded like a dick.
7.Who’s hair would you like to have for just one day?
Eric Clapton circa 1968. I’ve been threatening to go for a perm for years but Mrs Highton is having none of it.
8.Best musical experience to date?
Just so many. I played at No Direction Home this year, a great festival in Nottingham ran by the folk who do The End Of The Road. 10 mins before I was due on stage no one was there, then suddenly tons of people turned up, some of them even knew the words & were singing along! The sun had come out, everyone was smiling. That was a pretty special day. Also playing at South By South West in Austin, Texas on a bill that included Josh T Pearson, David Thomas Broughton, She Keeps Bees & This Is The Kit, was nice to be part of that. Loads more too. I could bore you for hours….
9.What artist inspires you?
Anyone who goes their own way and doesn’t worry about where they end up. Maybe Harry Nilsson, someone like him.
10.What does Fresh On The Net mean to you?
It means an awful lot actually, as a musician it makes you think there’s a chance to get heard, whoever you are, which is pretty handy when you live in the middle of nowhere and you’re not exactly of the zeitgeist.