Each week Fresh On The Net invites an artist or band to answer a short series of questions in Prick & Ding: the two and a half minute interview. It's convenient and quick - like enjoying a tasty microwave meal!

This week: THE BIG I AM

The Big I Am are a duo from Liverpool making thoughtful folk music with a seam of pop running through the middle. They are Pete McPartland and Colin Heaney – and I think they are rather special.

On a stage they rock out like they are playing Axes of the finest rock variety – but actually they favour the alternative instruments Tenor Ukulele and Cuatro… Yep, that is different and to see them live is to believe that “different” really does work.

On record they find a gorgeous interplay between picked loveliness, strummed effectiveness and gentle, thoughtful vocals. They’re in no rush to win favour but are happy to let their songs breathe and work their way into your psyche. In our fast Consume-Or-Delete culture it’s not the norm to give music time – to go back again if it hasn’t grabbed you by the scruff of the neck or blown you away first time.

Well, dear FOTN readers, that’s exactly what I did. Yes sir, I went back and gave it time: I let it mature in my membrane and – you know what – I was richly rewarded. I’ve found The Big I Am’s album Collecting Skies is the perfect accompaniment to everyday life: doing the dishes, washing the car, fixing your make up (I’ve heard), wiping down the dog with an oily rag – or just sitting back and chilling. It’s relaxing, but in a different way. As I’ve said before, what’s not to like about “different”. By the way I don’t actually do any of the above apart from the last one – I have people to do them for me – but you get the point 🙂

Their song ‘Hole‘ appears on the free independent artist compilation HOME VOLUME 3 – co-curated by me and Tom R. And it is an absolute bonus to report that Colin & Pete are two of the nicest fellas you could hope to meet. I met up with them in Liverpool and they treated me like a visiting dignitary.

I urge you to check these boys out, both live & on record,you will be rewarded. Invest some time in The Big I Am: find them on Facebook & Soundcloud

1. What are you up to at the moment?
Removing the “I” from our ice cream as we don’t like to be stared at when we eat

2. Favourite childhood memory?
Recording the Clangers on a reel to reel and reverse tracking it in search of subliminal messages. We were literally up the Swanny after that little exercise.

3. Hero?
Oliver Postgate the father to so many children but not in the News of the World sense of the phrase

4. Villain?
The Fat Controller….never trust a man whose mouth doesn’t move but yet has the the ability to strategically manage an island based railway system. He achieves all this by sinisterly purchasing rolling stock that have sentient consciousness and meeting out sever punishments to said rolling stock when they get out of order. How is a train that has been bricked up in a tunnel ever to know his crime if his accuser can’t speak and has no fingers to write with??

5. What/who makes you laugh?
At least 15 facial muscles and a good dollop of the absurd mixed with a portion of the surreal

6. Describe what you do?
We are purveyors of bedroom equipment to anyone who has ever been debuncked. In our quieter moments we noodle about with instruments which on the one hand have too many strings and the other, not nearly enough

7. Whose hair would you like to have for just one day?
Indigo Pipkin’s.. we have some unfinished business with that Hartley Hare

8. Best musical experience to date
Going to Gloccomara with Fred Astair. It turned out to be near Rhyll although the birds were a little shrill.

9. What artist inspires you?
Tommy Steele:- he knocks out a statue, sells it to our home city for half a sixpence and he still manages to keep his oral hygiene in immense condition… top man

10. What does Fresh On The Net mean to you
a) That the PR people employed by the Fishing Industry of Fleetwood need to work on their copy, or
b) A fantastic, genuine, eclectic national music show that we listen to avidly and deserves a greater longevity than the average blood line of a longitudinal European Monarchy.


Johnno Casson

Johnno Casson is a London-born/Colchester-based singer, musician, songwriter and show-off. He also compiles and releases compilations and is a serial supporter of new music. Johnno releases his own music as Snippet ,Old Tramp and also under his own name Johnno Casson.. As far as we know he was the most-played artist ever on Tom's legendary late night Fresh On The Net radio shows on 6 Music - having been featured no less than 18 times and appearing as an interview guest. You can also find Johnno on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube...

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