DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: Tchotchke | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Leon Tighe, aka Tchotchke, talks about his first single, a Christmas song full of festive melancholia, tinsel and regret.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?
Leon Tighe and I’m from Washington, Tyne & Wear. I moved to Newcastle when I started going to college to study art.

What inspired you to first start making music?
I grew up listening to 50s rock and roll music given to me by my next door neighbour, who used to work in the Grainger Market. I then started playing in the school folk band when I was 11 and spending my lunch breaks practising with a piano playing friend in a cupboard! 

Who would you say are your biggest influences?
My main influence is Neil Young. I love everything that he does and his honest approach to making music. He manages to cover so many genres of music and doesn’t care if it’s not commercial or if his fans hate it.

How would you describe your sound?
It’s still early days yet. I want to be able to play loud Sonic Youth/Pixies-style rock along with quiet, delicate alt. country. I think it’s important to have a good melody, whatever type of music I play. The people I’m working with will also determine the sound and I’m happy to just go along with whatever feels right at the time.

Where do you see yourselves fitting into the local music scene?
I’ve been playing in local bands for a while but haven’t played live in ages, so it feels new and it’s a bit scary! I’ve started playing at a few open mic  nights to try and get more confidence playing again.

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?
I’m playing a low-key gig in Hexham, at The Tannery on Monday 7th Dececember. Possibly our first gig as a band, depending on how well the practices go.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a band?
As this is a new band, there’s not much to report. I did manage to write, record and release a Christmas song (which I have always wanted to do) within four weeks. When I was 18, my first band were the last band to ever play at the legendary Riverside. The biggest achievement ever was in one of my old bands, Siren with Tiny Wood (Ultrasound). Our first gig in London, was attended by the one and only Paul McCartney.

What else have you got planned for the future?
I’m learning to drive and would love to do some mini tours around Europe.

Tchotchke plays The Tannery in Hexham on Monday 7th December.

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