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

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Image by Jacob Savage

A couple of years ago I was a guest on Bob Fischer’s BBC Tees Introducing Show, the other guest was a singer songwriter from North Yorkshire playing live in the studio. He seemed a perfectly amiable young chap but when he picked up his acoustic and started to sing into the mic I was truly stunned.

A couple of years down the line and George Boomsma has recorded his second album, a home town affair, made in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. The album, Do Something With The Night, opens with the sumptuous lead single Streets Paved With Gold, with its wonderful string accompaniment. This seemed the best place to start asking George a few questions.

“I wrote it whilst living in Scheveningen in Holland and was basically at a crossroads on where to go with my life. Each verse represents a different place and time. The first, Yorkshire looking back; the second, Holland in the present; and third, London on what was to come. I think that’s what it’s about.”

For me there is a definite air of Nick Drake about the song. “I first heard about Nick Drake whilst at Uni and as soon as I heard the first few bars of Time Has Told Me on Five Leaves Left I was like ‘this is what I’ve been searching for!’ I was instantly hooked. Actually, the guitar fingerpicking pattern of Streets… was adapted from River Man, so the Drake air would make sense.”

I find it difficult to write a song I don’t have a personal experience with, I almost find it a bit false

The album continues in a gentle jazz lounge style, with delicate guitar and that golden voice, in which George chronicles many of the ups and downs and ins and outs of his last year. “I find it difficult to write a song I don’t have a personal experience with, I almost find it a bit false. You can go into much more detail and really pin the point you want to get across more effectively and efficiently if it’s personal. People also seem to ‘get it’ more and see the integrity when you’re playing the songs live.”

In addition to a love for Nick Drake, George’s formative years were influenced by a variety of other styles. “I was mainly surrounded by classical, secular and soundtrack music when I was younger. I was recruited for a church choir and a musical theatre society by my Grandparents when I was about seven, so I guess they were the first musical inspirations. I also played a lot of Zelda back then which thankfully still taints my music today.” Clearly his roots mean a lot to him. “It’s fair to say I am a tad proud. I’ve recorded two albums in Northallerton now and it’s mainly because of the incredible people who live in and around the town. The whole DIY experience of it all makes it more fun and rewarding in the end.”

Finally, I had to ask about the album title. “I have this mantra, ‘don’t consume, create,’ which I regularly struggle to uphold. Basically turn the TV off and write a song. I thought it summed my year up quite well.”

George Boomsma launches Do Something With The Night at Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough on Friday 16th February.

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