Tonight the award winning Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James takes over the Wedgewood Rooms on Albert Road. Gavin’s platinum selling debut album ‘Bitter Pill’ has already accrued over five million streams on Spotify, topped the Irish airplay charts and won him the Irish Choice Music Prize for Song Of The Year.
These last few months have been a blur for Gavin James. The son of a Dublin postman, Gavin has lost count of how many gigs he has played, couldn’t say how many countries he’s visited and hasn’t a clue how few days off he got. The highlights so far, however, he will never forget. Seeing the live album he’d recorded at his local pub Whelan’s for next to nothing take off across the world was one. Supporting Ed Sheeran for two nights at the iconic Croke Park, spending the summer supporting Sam Smith in the States and opening for Taylor Swift in Hyde Park were others.
Gavin’s haunting version of the Magnetic Fields classic‘The Book of Love’ has seen him invited on Dancing With The Stars, The Late Late Show…with James Corden (twice), Jimmy Kimmel Live and most recently this year, The One Show, ITV’s The Weekend and BBC National Lottery.
Gavin has taken the time sit down and answer a few questions for us.
Can you tell me about how you initially got involved with music and who influenced you most?
My parents have played a huge part! My father used to bring home mixtapes from work with people like Bob Dylan, Cat Stephens, Van Halen and Muddy Waters. My parents are the best! They’ve always supported me even though they know how fickle the music business can be.
For those who are new to your music which three tracks would you encourage them to check out first and why?
I encourage people to listen to the ‘Live at Whelans’ album. It’s raw and features just my vocals and guitar. It will kind of let you hear the songs and know what to expect at the Wedgewood Rooms tonight.
Over the years has your approach to performing live changed and if so how?
Yes it’s changed a lot! I tend to chat in between songs a lot more. Like a lot more! I love having the banter with the crowds and getting a feel for the room at shows. I’ve also been enjoying having a band with me which is a change that I love.
How do you feel when you share your music for the first time? Do you prefer to share new music live where you can see the crowds reaction first hand or online perhaps?
Yes I always play new tunes at gigs. Most of the time I test out new tunes at open mics or at pubs at home as it’s the best way to gauge if a song is any good.
If I were to turn on your iPod right now, what four artists/songs would I see on your recently played list and what is it about those artists that appeal to you?
A lot of random stuff. The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack often makes an appearance! Definitely a good one to get pumped up if you’re tired. Bob Dylan is what I listen to when I’m traveling. I am listening to a lot of Twenty One Pilots at the moment, I love their new album! I like to listen to a lot of traditional Irish stuff like Luke Kelly and the Dubliners. They are good to listen to when I am far away from home.
For those fortunate enough to be at show what can they expect?
Lots of banter, some melancholic tunes, upbeat feel good tunes and more banter.
Once you have finished your tour what does 2017 have in store for you?
After this tour I am off to America before finishing up back in Dublin at Christmas. 2017 will be time to start doing a bit more recording I think and then jump back on the road and gig.
If you would like to see Gavin perform at the Wedgewood Rooms tonight then there are still a limited number of tickets available. More information can be found at www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk. If not then you can find out about where else you can find him on his tour over on his website www.gavinjamesmusic.com. You can also follow Gavin over on his Facebook, Twitter @ and Instagram pages.