Living in Manchester it’s impossible to avoid discovering new musical talent, with bars, cafes and pubs on your doorstep hosting a huge variety of live musical acts. Finding a new favourite can brighten up your whole month, giving you a new soundtrack to bop along to on the way to work or have playing in the background as you go about your daily business. A short while ago I was introduced to Nev Cottee, a Mancunian musician who delivers a laid back eclectic sound mixing the psychedelic pop of Lee Hazlewood and the lush symphonies of Spiritualized. It is with great pleasure that I introduce Nev Cottee’s debut album Stations as our Fabulous Times album of the month!
Since leaving his first band ‘Proud Mary’, who’s debut album ‘The Same Old Blues’ was released on Noel Gallagher’s own ‘Big Brother’ label, Nev has played with Manchester bands ‘Folks’ and ‘The Second Floor’ and presented his much loved ‘Evening Session’ radio show on 96.2 The Revolution and Radio Republic.
Nev’s debut LP ‘Stations’ was released on Oct 28th on Roleplay Records. Produced by Mason Neely and Carwyn Ellis (Colorama/Edwyn Collins) ‘Oslo’ is the first single I listened to from the album and fell in love, the relaxed sound and stylish video provides a ray of sunshine on an otherwise rainy Manchester day. I squealed when I first watched it, if you look closely you might just recognise the vintage Orange train I took a ride on during my trip to Soller in the Balearic Islands!
[embedplusvideo height=”600″ width=”790″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/171dcpF” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/sphQSWPCKR0?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=sphQSWPCKR0&width=790&height=600&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=” id=”ep6411″ /]
I caught up with Nev to discover what makes him tick, here’s what he had to say:
How long have you been a musician, can you tell me a bit about how you got into music?
I started playing guitar when I was 13. Just sat in my bedroom learning the basics. Pre internet it was books from the library and the only one they had was The Police’s Greatest Hits. I had no idea what The Police sounded like but anyway that’s all I had so I got on with it.
It was really my brother and his mate Spot who got me into music. They used to go into town when I was too young to do so and come back with all these amazing records by The Stones, Lou Reed and Bowie. Around that time The Stone Roses were happening and it all made it more accessible than Jagger or Bowie. You could buy a coach ticket to Blackpool with your mates and go and watch John Squire. And I did…
What inspired the album? artists you look up to etc..
I’ve always just been a guitarist or bass player in a band and had to rely on singers to sing my songs. Last year I sent some of my demos to my mate Carwyn. He’s a great musician (his band Colorama are great check them out) and he said ‘Why are you singing so high?’. I’d never even thought about it to much. Just sang as I thought I should. He said ‘Just sing like your talking’ and it was a really breakthrough moment because I found my voice – which is quite low. I saw him the other day and said ‘Thanks for introducing me to myself…’.
Anyway, to answer your question… Lee Hazlewood, Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker (the holy vocal trinity) Tom Waits and then people like Tony Joe White and Charlie Rich – old school hard living, hard drinking dudes. That’s for vocals and songwriting. Musically I love Jason Pierce and anything he’s ever done – ie Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized… and finally Richard Hawley.
Q. What song brings a tear to your eye? Scott Walker – ‘Duchess’ – As close to perfection as you’re going to get.[embedplusvideo height=”600″ width=”790″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/HBdj50″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/58Hbdb6EgLs?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=58Hbdb6EgLs&width=790&height=600&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=” id=”ep1570″ /]
On a completely different tip every single lyric from ‘The Village Green Preservation Society’ by The Kinks pulls at your heart strings.
Q. What song best describes you? Lee Hazlewood – ‘Poet Fool or Bum'[embedplusvideo height=”600″ width=”790″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/HBd7mr” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/TpunjRSqfnI?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=TpunjRSqfnI&width=790&height=600&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=” id=”ep5084″ /]
Q. What was the first song you ever bought? UB40 ‘Rat In Mi Kitchen’… I was very young. People (especially musicians and music journalists) obviously lie when they’re asked this. Not me…
Q. What song would you want playing at your funeral? Ha. I don’t care. I’ll be dead. I guess you’ve got to go for solemnity… ‘All Things must Pass’ by George Harrison? Either that or ‘The Final Countdown’…
I guess with the unfortunate death of the incredible Lou Reed, there’s a vacancy for a new song writer powerhouse? Nev is a unique songwriter whose distinctive, deep and powerful voice will leave you spellbound, I can’t wait to see what the future brings for such a marvellous talent! Special thanks to Nev for taking the time to share his inspirations. You can download Stations on i-tunes HERE, or visit Nev’s website for all latest news.
‘A lesson in songwriting’ Noel Gallagher’