15 June 2011

Scots Way-Hay #63 - Mike Nisbet

Singer songwriters do feel like they're ten a penny at the moment, or at least that's the impression my inbox gives me. I do try my best to sit and give everything I get sent a listen, most of it sounds 'nice', but it takes a lot for something to really stand out. For me it's usually the voice or the lyrics, admittedly you can normally tell within a few seconds whether it is for me or not. So a few weeks back when my friend Phil from Elba Sessions got in touch to suggest that I check out an artist they'd had in to record a podcast, I was a little bit pessimistic, "not another singer songwriter" I thought. Thankfully though I was wrong as I really enjoyed the session tracks that Phil sent over, and once he sent me over a copy of his album I was sold. So here we go, here's Mike Nisbet, not just another run of the mill songwriter...

Would you care to introduce yourself?

My name is Mike Nisbet, I'm handsome singer/songwriter from Oban.

How would you describe the music you make?

One man and his guitar. A mix of acoustic, country, pop and Folk.

How did you start out making music?

Not really sure to be honest, pretty unmusical family, so it came about from discovering music with friends. There was quite a lot bloom of musicians when I was in high school, so I've always had a lot of great friends to jam with and lean on to record with.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

I'll write everything just sitting on my bed usually, spend a long time trying to find that good hook, or melody, quite painstaking! The record was all written sitting in my flat, putting demos down on a very old imac. It's a very personal process, just me and my guitar.

Who are your big musical influences?

At the moment I can't stop listening to Townes Van Zandt, as far as songwriting goes he's pretty much the man for that! I've learnt a lot from playing Townes songs. Also Simon & Garfunkle, Neil Young, James Taylor, Quite into americana as you can tell.

What kind of influence do you feel that where you come from has had on the music you create?

Being from Oban has had a big effect on the songs as far as setting goes, I love the sea, and the country side, 'Snow Me In' from the record is about wanting to live in the country, blues skies from hill to hill. So on the other side of that, living in the city now I'm conscious of wanting some grass and peace and quiet!

What can people expect to see/hear from your live shows?

Me and my guitar, and a couple harmonicas. looking out to get some more people involved for some new tracks but I'm doing the troubadour thing for now. It's about getting the song across in it's simple, pure form. So hopefully people can relax and enjoy the music.

Has there been a particular gig that has stood out for you so far (good or bad)?

Best gig this year was up at The Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore. It's a great place to just hang out anyways, but we'd just finished doing a bunch of shows and spent the Sunday relaxing by the river, playing music, eating great food and then spending the night playing music with friends. Everyone sat down and really took in the show, was pretty much the perfect show for me.

What are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond? Do you have any new releases planned for any time soon?

Tour, tour, tour, make sure people get a chance to check out the songs live, pick up some new fans. Working on writing some new songs so maybe release a couple more tracks by the end of the year.

Mike Nisbet - Funny Little Windows

Mike's debut album, 'Vagrant', is out now, you can stream/download it now on his Bandcamp.
You can catch him live this coming Sunday afternoon at Fete De La Music, in Ashton Lane alongside the likes of Burnt Island, Esperi, Bronto Skylift and Blochestra. If you're heading along then Mike's on at 5pm in the Grosvenor Cafe.


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