TMF meets Pete Lawrie

Hi Pete, thanks for sparing some time to talk to The Music Fix. Some of our less cultured readers won’t yet be acquainted with your music so could you help us bring them up to speed? If you had to give someone a cultural reference point who, or indeed what, would you compare yourself to?

Well, this is always a tough one, but recently the BBC website described me as sounding like Tom Waits falling off the end of the bar with a commercial edge. I will take that all day!

Your biog suggests that music has pulled you through some interesting times, both good and bad. Music has clearly always been hugely important to you so I’m interested in what your earliest musical memories might be?

My earliest memories are of driving through Southern France on the annual family holiday. As my parents are professional classical musicians, I think it was their time to be naughty and listen to 'pop'. Pop for them was Paul Simon and Elton John. Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald. I lapped it all up. Graceland has become my favourite record over the years. Those trips to France were definitely the beginning of my musical education.

This may come as a bit of a shock to you but, in order to ease the pressures of urban crowding, you have been selected for relocation to live on a desert island for a year. You can take one album, one book and one DVD to keep you amused. What will you be packing?

The album would certainly be instrumental. Otherwise it would be like taking a friend who just repeats himself. So, maybe something minimalist. Four Tet maybe, or even something classical. A book, Something you could learn, an activity. I would like to learn Spanish for example, or a book about overcoming loneliness! The DVD would be a boxset of Planet Earth. Who doesn't love Attenborough?

Unfortunately you’ll be struggling to catch any live music out on the island so you may have to rely upon your memories. What has been the most exciting gig you've seen?

I saw Wiley play in Cardiff to about 15 of us. He was hilarious. Not the best thing I have seen musically by a long way, but a laugh a minute, so it has stuck in my head.

The country seems to have been overrun with boutique music festivals this year. If you could curate your own mini festival on Penarth pier, featuring any five artists you like, who would you choose?

I would choose the Black Keys, Laura Marling, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cherry Ghost and Drake to headline.

What is the most cringe worthy track that you just can't bring yourself to delete from your iPod? (or remove from your Dansette or any other choice of listening equipment)

I dont really believe in guilty pleasures as such. I think if you take from pleasure from listening to a song, you shouldnt feel guilty for it. That said, I do have Genesis on my iPod and I do love it!

You may have been reluctant to delete your Genesis collection, but it gets worse. We just heard that new environmental legislation means that for every new album released in future the master tapes of an archive album have to be wiped and recycled. You’ve been twinned with The Smiths – which one of their albums will you elect to erase?

I have never been a massive fan of fey indie (I know, the Smiths are amazing blah blah) but different strokes, different folks and all that, so, I choose any. Maybe the last one.

OK, after that act of cultural genocide, what's next for Pete Lawrie?

I feel I have maybe just lost the faith of whoever is reading this, so what's next for me is to wish I had lied in my answers. Oh, and play lots of gigs and write lots of songs!

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