Recently signed to Polydor and getting big press down south we invited Notts-born singer-songwriter Liam Bailey in for a LeftLion session. Sign up to the LeftLion Sessions Facebook group for updates.
So how's London treating you?
It's all good, I always say that everything that's good in Notts is good times two down in London, and everything that's shit about Notts is shit down there times two as well.
So how did you land the deal with Polydor Records?
They just got wind of my big mouth and it went from there really, I was down there for about two years and luckily I didn't have to traipse around too much looking to get signed.
It's probably worth mentioning that we've got Tommy Guns in the studio as well, who's acting as Liam's minder and manager...
Haha! He's my Yoko! I want to shout out to all the First Blood lot too..
Liam Bailey - in session for LeftLion
First Blood is your band from time ago isn't it?
Yes. It's the family, known them for 7 or 8 years.
This is the first time this will be mentioned in the media, but First Blood are playing a gig in June aren't they? A big hip-hop night at the Rescue Rooms.
Yeah, it's gonna be huge, I'm really looking forward to it. I'm not sure Notts is quite ready
So you did some stuff for Q Magazine recently - how did that go?
I did a gig for Q, it was an Ellie Golding gig that I supported. It was good man, the first time I'd played live with a band so I had to play in time, it was mad. But a good experience. They reviewed it too which I think is going to be in next month's issue, they compared my voice to Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding and said that British soul had found its first authentic voice of the decade..
You're big on your Notts aren't you, Liam?
I'm all about Nottingham, everywhere I go. But then when you're in London everyone's like 'are you from Birmingham?'
So whereabouts are you originally from?
Beeston, born and brought up there, and then moved to Selston which is where I met Mr Justice (AKA Tommy Guns) and Chris McDonald, and then moved back to Notts when I was about nineteen - best thing I ever did.
Favourite venues in Notts?
I've only played Rescue Rooms once and I liked that, even playing in the bar. I've always enjoyed Bunkers Hill, and The Maze. I liked playing at the Social - well Bodega.
You played a few sets at the Bomb with First Blood didn't you?
Oh god! That was mashed up, people still talk about those gigs.
You're obviously pretty busy these days, how often do you get back up to Notts?
Every couple of months I'd say, to see mates, me mam and to do gigs with First Blood.
So how do the venues and audiences compare to down south?
Like I say, it's the same shit, just bigger - be it better or shitter. I'll tell you what, London's not full of as much talent as people say. One of the reasons I moved down there was that I wanted to go to gigs and be scared of someone's talent and really feel the need to get better, and I've seen that a bit, but I've gotta say it's the same type of vibe as up here.
|LeftLion sessions: From l-r Sarah Morrison, Liam Bailey, Tommy Guns and Jared Wilson|
Who are your biggest musical influences? There's a bit of Sam Cooke in there...
Yeah, I got lots from my mum's LP collection. The Beatles are a massive influence, even Oasis man. Just soulful songs. Paul Weller did a good job influencing me as well as a lot of reggae - I listen to everything. Also my friends, I'm fortunate enough to be in a circle where you inspire one another, when I'm making music with them it inspires me just as much.
If you could form a supergroup of you and four other people - living or dead, famous or not - who would you pick?
Oh man.. Bootsy Collins on bass, I'd have to sing obviously, Buddy Miles on drums..
You need a lead guitarist.. If you've got Buddy Miles, how about Hendrix as well?
Oh mate, I can't be shown up can I?! On rhythm guitar I'd have George Harrison, and Peter Green on lead, Miles Davis on trumpet, Lauren on backing vocals and Stax's sax player.
Okay, so what was the last thing that made you laugh?
"If I'd known it was this type of party I'd stick my dick in a mashed potato"!
Classic Beastie Boys sample.
Yeah, and the BBC series, Take A Walk On The Wild Side.
When can we expect the debut album?
August. Stuff will be released before then, but mid-August is the big one.
And where can people find out more about your music?
Visit myspace.com/liambaileyuk and send me a message - I do look at it!
So anything else you want to say?
Keep your ears to the ground for First Blood, Chris McDonald, Tommy Guns.. And listen for Tim McDonald and Tall Stories.
Well, thanks for coming in.
My pleasure, your pleasure, everybody's pleasure!
Liam Bailey on MySpace
Listen to Jared talking sport on the Left Back Podcast
Listen to Sarah talking New York music on Insomnia Radio