Feature: Girl From Winter Jargon – A Look Back At 2019 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Over the past twelve months, our magazine and website have been brimming with super-talented, creative souls. Experimental, loop pedal maestro Girl From Winter Jargon gives us her 2019 highlights.

So, how was your 2019?
It was unexpectedly good; productive in ways I could never have anticipated, thanks for asking! 🙂

What was your best moment?
Every time ‘Without Apology’ was played on the radio and also when I impersonated my 25-year-old pet dove, live on BBC Radio Tees with Bob Fischer.

And your worst moment?
When I took my guitar to a local luthier, expecting a standard truss rod/bridge adjustment and he – for reasons I’m yet to fathom – removed the neck entirely and did unspeakable things to her.

Your favourite band/artist of the year?
Screaming Females

Your favourite song of the year?
Orville Peck – Dead of night.

Favourite TV show of the year?
Am I the only person who loved The O.A? Brit Marling is multi-talented; she must have an amazing mind. I also quite like The Good Place. Chidi’s indecisiveness is so relatable.

Your favourite film?
I hardly made it to the cinema at all this year. I would’ve said Bohemian Rhapsody but I’m told that was 2018. I can only recall seeing Aladdin. Oh dear.

Best book you read?
These days, the only books I read tend to be of the self-help variety. I bought, The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying by Marie Kondo. It’s hilarious; I actually bought it because of bad reviews on amazon. 

I think the most helpful book I ever read was, ADD-friendly Ways To Organize Your Life’ by Kolberg & Nadeau’ and even then – I don’t think I ever read the final chapter; my attention span is horrible. No, the irony is not lost on me.

Favourite venue of the year?
I think I’m going to have to say The Green Room in Stockton because I feel very comfortable there; I’ve grown very fond of the backstage area, the free Budweiser’s and the Elvis Tapestry.

On a whole, I tend to prefer smaller, more intimate venues; Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough has a nice vibe; Bobiks in Jesmond has cold, stone walls and high ceilings and sounds great. The Holy Grail’s Basement in Durham is absolutely tiny, unique and brilliant; Rocking Horse Rehearsal Rooms (also in Durham) is a lovely space by the river where you can have outdoor fires. (I like fires!) I think Darlington’s Hullabaloo Theatre sounds amazing too, though this is most likely due to the curtains. (I like curtains!)

What was your favourite gig/show of the year?
At Kendal Calling, James Dean Bradfield from Manic Street Preachers played an impromptu acoustic rendition of Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head – it’d been raining heavily without let up for several hours and the crowd all sang along with him; it was one of those classic festival moments.

The Membranes – (also at Kendal Calling) – are a late-70’s post-punk band; I’d never seen or heard of them before but their performance was fascinating to me; the songs themselves are mostly bass-driven with two guitarists making lots of weird, noodling, atmospheric textural sounds, (which I love) but the most interesting thing about them for me was the inclusion of a mini vocal choir; in addition to singing harmonies, the choir also cackled, screamed and wailed. The whole thing was highly experimental and brilliant.

Orville Peck in Leeds. His vocal control and overall range is stunning and flawless; a very commanding stage presence. Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison aside – I’m not typically a fan of country music but this gig was unlike anything I’ve seen or heard before.

Glasvegas played an amazing stripped back set at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton a few months back; I’ve seen them perform a number of times and this was by far the best.

Any upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for in 2020?
I’m looking forward to hearing Julie Grant’s album; I find the 90’s aesthetic of her music and lyrics to be oddly reassuring and comforting. Tall Talker from Leeds are a highly accomplished instrumental band; to my ears, they’re like a musical antidote to boredom. Fossilheads are a theatrical, folk-comedy acoustic duo from Northampton who sing satirical songs about the climate crisis. I’d love it they play the North East. 

Above all else, I implore Barry Hyde to release something (anything!) new for 2020. Malody is a masterpiece and I’m dying to hear more.

And finally, what has next year got in store for you?
I’m in the process of recording two songs at home which I hope to release on 7” vinyl with Butterfly Effect Records as part of their limited edition singles club series. The idea is that each individual record will be virtually hand-made, therefore unique and collectable. I’m also very much looking forward to playing a show near Easter time, which will be revealed shortly.

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