Interview: Lucy Rose at Reading 2012

By on Thursday, 30th August 2012 at 11:00 am
 

At 23 years old, Lucy Rose has (excuse the cliché) the world at her feet and while those feet may be extraordinarily little, the world is truly hers for the taking. “It feels like there’s a long way to go still for me, hopefully it’s going in the right direction, which is nice. Doing things like the signing tent, things that I have never done before, I just didn’t expect the reception that I got from people.

“There was one girl at the signing tent who had the shakes and when she handed over the piece of paper I felt really bad about how nervous she was.”

Reading Festival, being the rock heavy mêlée that it is, sounds like a strange place to find a folk songstress like Rose it seems, hence her surprise when she was added to the legendary bill. “It’s the biggest festival really, in the UK. I never thought my music would be welcome here. It’s quite a rock heavy festival and I just didn’t expect to be on the line-up.

“Well, with Bombay, I knew we were going to be here already. But I didn’t push for me to do it [as a solo artist], as I just thought it was never going to happen. Two shows in one day, is this even a good idea, I thought? Initially I just thought, let’s just try it just to see if it works, I just didn’t want to let down Bombay as well!”

Playing with Bombay Bicycle Club has taken up a lot of Lucy’s life over the last few years, after she met Jack Steadman while she was supposed to be studying geography at University College London. “This [Reading] is like the biggest show they have ever done, and it’s been something they’ve been looking forward to for such a long time, and I’m just so pleased that finally they got it.

“I feel they are always underestimated on festival line-ups. I mean everywhere they go, world-wide massive crowds come. I’m more nervous about their show really, as I haven’t played with the band in a really long time.”

But while working with Bombay has been a big part of her life, Rose’s solo work has taken off, exponentially, over the past 12 months. Her melodic blend of hauntingly pure and honest lyrics over a subtle acoustic guitar has made her somewhat a bit of a cult folk hero. It’s easy to see why though; the girl exudes that kind of approachability you want from your idols.

And her solo music is influenced by so many different things, far and wide, she tells us. “In a weird way, everything influences me: books, films, other music and especially discovering new music is one of the most inspiring things. Neil Young is my hero; he just influences me never-endingly.”

With her solo career in its relative infancy, Rose came up with a novel way of promoting herself at shows by selling tea. Yes, tea. And before you ask, she’d gladly suit down for a cuppa and a ginger nut with you, which by the way, is her favourite biscuit. “I didn’t have any merchandise, I didn’t have any CDs or anything and I just couldn’t think of anything else that I wanted to sell but tea. It’s a blend of Earl Grey and Full English Breakfast. I’m a big tea drinker.”

The future seems bright for the Warwickshire-born folk singer, but Lucy is modest as ever about what the next 12 months has in store. “I’m not expecting anything in the future; I just hope I don’t get dropped, really.”

So expect the unexpected from this artist. She isn’t one to fit to type in the classic singer/songwriter mould. Turns out, she’s also a bit metal inside. You couldn’t tell though.

“I did a stage dive the other day. [Though] I got caught, it was like the best experience ever and it was the first time I had a drink at a gig in ages and I just ended up jumping into the crowd and crowd surfing. I felt like the biggest badass ever.”

Lucy Rose’s debut album, ‘Like I Used To’, will be out on the 24th of September on Columbia. The single ‘Bikes’ will drop a week earlier, on 17 September. Catch her on a massive UK tour – nearly a month long – in October and November. Special thanks to Lucy for stopping for a chat with us and Jonathan for sorting this interview.

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