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Bestival Preview: Seán McGowan Interview

Bestival Preview: Seán McGowan Interview

Bestival is fast approaching and we continue our build up to the festival by talking to Southampton’s Seán McGowan. Sean has been around the south coast music scene for a fair few years now and built up quite a following. I first became aware of Seán when he played Blissfields back in 2015. Even back then it didn’t take long to hear the likes of Billy Bragg and Frank Turner are clear influences of his. He’s since gone on to play Bragg’s Left Field stage at Glastonbury and has recorded with Frank Turner on ‘Come Unstuck.’

I always wanted to write honestly and tell stories.

Could you tell me about how you initially got involved with music and who influenced you most?
I always wanted to be a Footballer. I wanted to play on the Left-Wing for QPR. Then I grew up, had my first Girlfriend and started smoking, drinking and having loads of fun. I was always writing little poems and daydreaming whilst listening to my CD Walkman. I fell into it quite naturally. An attention-seeker that wrote poems. I was destined to be a singer/songwriter. Haha. I always wanted to write honestly and tell stories. 

For those who are new to your music which three tracks would you encourage them to check out first and why?
I’d say give ‘No Show’, ‘Apple Core’ and ‘Patchwork’ a listen. The first two because they’re the most recent. The latter because it displays another side to my personality and songwriting that often gets forgotten.

What bands and artists are you currently listening to and how are they inspiring you to explore and implement new ideas with your music?
My friend’s Creeper often gets played in the car. They’re doing so well and remaining so dignified – it’s awesome. DMA’s too. Their harmonies and melodies are wicked and the lead guitar parts are addictive. Both bands have inspired me to be more adventurous when writing my guitar parts. 

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 crowd’s reaction first hand or online perhaps?
Either or is fine by me. I just keep thinking about how lucky I am to be able to this stuff. I always feel a little nervous. My songs are a snippet of my life. If they go down like a Lead Balloon it can be pretty soul destroying. Thankfully, that’s not happened, YET. It’s a rewarding job this, the best part is being told that people can relate to the things you write about. 

You have a fiercely loyal following on the south coast. Do you feel extra pressure playing live in front of them or is it more like playing in front of a large family?
I always feel some pressure when playing. I know people have paid to see the show and I always want to ensure they get their money’s worth. I adore the folks on the South Coast who have stuck by me. But I don’t feel any extra pressure when playing for them. They turn up every time without fail and make it special. 

Photo by Tom Langford

Where can we find you at Bestival and what can anyone coming to see you expect from your live show?
We play the Invaders of the Future stage on the Sunday. (I’m not sure what time). You can expect heart on sleeve, sweat on face, fast and furious fun. My band are awesome. (So much better than me). It’s our last Festival of the season and we intend to go out with a bang. 

You can expect heart on sleeve, sweat on face, fast and furious fun.

Will you get much of a chance to check out Bestival over the weekend? If so, who are you most looking forward to seeing?
We’re on tour around it so will only be there on Sunday, sadly. I’m yet to see the Sunday line-up. Would love to see Jamie T of course. And my friend Lewis Bootle. We’ll have to wait ’til we get there and see what we can catch. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to enjoy the whole festival. I have always loved Besty and Rob da Bank is a friend and overall super dude. It’s definitely gonna be a blinder. 

What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?
Well, I’ve just signed to Xtra Mile Recordings. We have a full band headline tour in September with a new EP out around that. Might record the debut album too. And a WHOLE lot more touring. 2017 is literally the best year of my life. (Aside from politics making everything ghastly of course).

Tickets to Bestival are available over on www.bestival.net/tickets.


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