New talent: Lauren Laverne on thecocknbullkid
Radio and TV presenter, former indie princess and all-round music-scene barometer, Lauren Laverne presents her hot musical tips for the future including pop wunderkind thecocknbullkid
‘I don’t think of myself as having a “career” as such, just a job I love and am incredibly lucky to be doing. Music was my first great love and has shaped pretty much every facet of my life – what I do, where I live, who my friends are, who I married and therefore who my son is. I can’t think of a better path to follow. I started a band, Kenickie, with some friends the summer after we did our GCSEs – it was just for fun, we couldn’t imagine anyone letting us even play a gig, but we ended up releasing a record, which John Peel loved and that led to us getting a major deal. I was a guest on a few TV shows like “Never Mind the Buzzcocks”, which led to me being offered some presenting work to try. It was funny that covering Glastonbury with John (among others!) was my first proper big TV gig. I remember him saying, “You’re made for this shit, aren’t you?” and laughing. Sums it up, really.
‘I wanted to be an author. My dad is an academic and was always writing books, so I think that was my inspiration – him and Roald Dahl… The house was full of typewriters, musical instruments and records so I think some combination of words and music was inevitable. I think the common thread through everything I’ve done is communication.
‘The people keen to give you their two pennies’ worth are never the ones with good advice, so I try to avoid dishing it out. Having said that, I’m open to wisdom from any source. My friend Adele used to sign her letters, “Get out and get bruised”, which I loved. F Scott Fitzgerald’s line “the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy’s wing” is worth living by. My Gran also told me not to bother doing A-levels as I was “a bonny lass”. At the time I was horrified, but looking back on it I should have believed her!
‘I’ve always been more of a record obsessive than a live music aficionado, so luckily having a baby hasn’t inhibited my enjoyment of new music too much. There is more music and more unbridled, unedited access to it than ever before. On balance it’s an amazing thing – while I miss the sweet ache of waiting a fortnight for my local record shop to get that special 7", I love being able to be able to immerse myself in a band’s whole little world within 30 seconds of hearing their name for the first time. MySpace is a glorious thing. The music scene is now global but it seems to me that London is still lucky enough to be the sticky little hotbed of well-dressed melodic talent it always was.
‘I have a trajectory rather than an inflexible battle plan. I believe that when you’re lucky enough to have the option at work, you should follow your passion. Things work out better when you do. In the right circumstances ignorance can make you brave so I wouldn’t change anything.’
thecocknbullkid‘Proof that great pop music is all about getting girls on the dancefloor, thecocknbullkid has lyrical wit and a deft way with a tune – always a winning combination. So while I do understand all the MIA comparisons that have come this girl’s way, I can’t help seeing her as a latter-day Morrissey – or even a British Kelis.’
Florence And The Machine‘I recently fell out with Jack White, so stripped-back blues was almost off the menu for me until I encountered Florence. Her music is largely without bells and whistles but all of it has blood and balls, sometimes literally. My family recently watched some primary-school kids covering “Girl With 1 Eye” at a north London school fête. The bit about stabbing your enemy’s eye out in cold blood may not have won any house points, but I was certainly impressed.’
Noah And The Whale‘Their irresistible, irrepressible folk-pop makes the sun shine whenever you play it. This is a sound so delightfully innocent it seems impossible to imagine them existing in London. I do wonder how they deal with Denmark Street’s crackheads when they pop down there to buy plectrums, but I love their work.'
Lauren Laverne co-presents The Culture Show on BBC2, Tue at 10pm, and presents a show on BBC 6 Music, Sat 2pm-4pm.
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