INTERVIEW: Shipcote & Friends | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

For the whole time I’ve been in Newcastle, and for several decades before, Graham ‘Shippy’ Anderson has bestrode the Tyneside music scene like a quiet but stylish colossus, through his numerous musical projects but also his legendary Jumpin’ Hot Club, which has been putting on mostly Americana-focused gigs since the eighties. He’s been playing sporadically around the area for years as Shipcote & Friends, self-releasing charming but accomplished albums when the mood takes him. And now he’s releasing Local Favourites, a mixture of his own songs about life on Tyneside and covers of songs by fellow Tyneside artists. And it’s lovely.

I asked him if there was a central idea behind the artists he’s chosen to cover, and he was quick to praise them all. “I just wanted to do people I admire, and maybe help them by doing it. Not yer Sting or Bryan Ferry kinda thing, nor Lindisfarne or Maximo Park come to that… Like, every city needs somebody like Nev Clay. Ever since I’ve known him, he’s been below the radar, which is where Nev wants to be I think…” Other artists covered include Rob Heron, Nicky Rushton (from And All Because The Lady Loves and Mush Collective), Davey Patton (from the Sour Mash Trio) and a couple from regular collaborator Martin Stephenson. There’s also a song based on a poem by Stew Rickard (Hannah Rickard’s father), one of a series Shippy got through the post during lockdown.

I wanted it to be lo-fi, the way the songs were supposed to sound. And I didn’t want any guitar solos. Songs are songs

The album is a companion piece to Local Stars, recorded with his Friends and a few guests like Rob Heron and Gem Andrews, and which he admits was “something to do in lockdown to stop myself going up the wall.” This new album was recorded in front rooms – his and Shipcote regular Cath Reding’s – because he wanted to keep it lo-fi. “I didn’t want any kind of big production,” he explains. “I wanted it to be lo-fi, the way the songs were supposed to sound. And I didn’t want any guitar solos. Songs are songs.”

That said, there’s brass on the Nev Clay track Hurting You. “I fancied a quirky, mariachi thing, and decided to put it on the end. I dunno if Nev will like it…” As well as Reding, another Shipcote & Friends regular Bry Younger played on Local Favourites, and there’s some steel guitar from Malcolm McMaster. As well as the covers, there’s a handful of locally-themed songs Shippy has written over the years, including a tribute to James Renforth, the Geordie Victorian sculling champion, “the Kevin Keegan of rowing”, as Shippy puts it.

Shipcote & Friends release Local Favourites on Thursday 25th August, with a launch at The Globe, Newcastle also featuring Jon Lee alongside one or two special guests.


Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout