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George Holroyd

15 July 15 words: Alice Tilbury
"A lot of the flamenco type stuff I learned from watching Rodrigo y Gabriela on YouTube. Luckily my fingers have toughened up, so there’s not much blood any more"
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Photo: Jack Margerison

What music influenced you growing up?
The first band I was a huge fan of was Red Hot Chili Peppers, I went to see them in Hyde Park for my eleventh birthday, supported by James Brown (the ridiculousness of that didn’t sink in until a few years ago). In terms of influencing my playing, I’d say Newton Faulkner and Rodrigo y Gabriela really got me into acoustic guitar, artists who I’ve drawn inspiration from for song-writing over the years include Paul Simon, Van Morrison, The Tallest Man On Earth, Ben Howard and John Martyn.

Are there any venues in Nottingham that you like to perform in regularly?
My favourite regular spots are JamCafe and Acoustic Rooms on a Monday, I’m a big fan of Bodega and the Chameleon to play whenever I can get the chance. I’d love to play Rescue Rooms and Rock City at some point in the future.

We hear you are chummy with Amber Run, when did you first meet them and have they helped you with anything music related?
Yeah, I met Joe at an open mic at my uni halls in late 2011, while he was still a solo act. I watched the band form and actually played my first support gig with them at Bodega in late 2012, we both supported Ryan Keen. I also supported them for a couple of shows in London and Nottingham in March last year, which were great fun. They’re a great bunch of guys who’ve worked seriously hard to get to where they are, and I can’t wait to hear more from them in the future.

Before university, how much did you perform back home in Suffolk?
I played at some gigs at my school and in the local area in a few bands, but didn’t really play as a solo acoustic act until I came to Nottingham.

Did you have any guitar lessons, or did you teach yourself the virtuosic style of playing?
A great guy who came into our school each week taught me between the ages of twelve and seventeen. He was an absolute genius at classical guitar. I started out learning electric and then switched to classical at around fifteen, but a lot of the fast flamenco type stuff I learned from watching Rodrigo y Gabriela on YouTube. Luckily my fingers have toughened up, so there’s not much blood any more!

Where did you record the EP Peru?
I recorded it in Newbury with Sam Winfield, a great producer recommended to me by Joe from Amber Run. I’d never done much in the way of recording before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had a great time recording it and am really pleased with the results.

You recently reached the top ten of the singer/song-writer iTunes chart among the likes of Ben Howard and Ed Sheeran, how did you celebrate?
It was surreal seeing my name up next to those guys, we’d done a large chunk of the celebrating at Pop Confessional after the EP launch the previous Friday, I think we still managed to head out for a few beers, though.

What do you plan to do after university - carry on in your music career or pursue something more suited to your MSc in Maths?
I’m waiting on confirmation of funding for a PhD in Maths at The University of Nottingham at present, which will - I hope - allow me to do both.

You have recently released your EP Peru. Is there any chance of an album in the next year?
I have no plans for a full album any time soon, over the next year I’m looking to continue writing and playing gigs to test new songs and get my name about a bit more. There’ll be a new EP coming within the next year or so though.

What gigs do you have coming up in the next few months?
I worked at Star Surf Camps last year, and in August I’ve got a 6/7 date tour of their camps planned with a friend of mine, Richard Morris from Portsmouth, and his band.

George Holroyd Facebook 

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