“My repertoire is a reflection of who I am…”
It may sound like a fairly obvious statement coming from an artist but, these days, it sounds more like a declaration of faith to us.
Roy Bailey is coming to town for Radical Liverpool and that’s good news for those of you who like your songwriters with an aim that is true: “I like to tell stories about the world we live in,” says Bailey. “My songs are not heavy handed though and I do like to use humour to make a point and entertain people,” continues the “seventy something” songwriter, declared by Tony Benn to be “… the greatest socialist songwriter of his generation.”
A Roy Bailey gig is all things to everyone: part rally, part conversation and part life-affirming night out.
It will be a night out too – this is not a singer who likes to preach to the converted and stay in a comfort zone: “I enjoy coming to Liverpool – the gig is always a two-way conversation and I think that’s got a lot to do with me connecting there… I might wear my politics on my sleeve but I see myself more as a natural collector of songs and that’s about as much as I’ll analyse what I do.”
Fair play. When you’ve stood on-stage with Billy Bragg in front of 100,000 people at Hyde Park and toured prestigious venues with the aforementioned Benn, what fear does an intimate gig at Studio 2, Parr Street hold?
A little, still, it would seem: “You can see if the people are with you at smaller venues,” laughs the softly-spoken Bailey.
“I suppose I do perform differently in smaller rooms – but I like to build relationships at shows and that seems to go down well in Liverpool. I have played at the Working Class Music Festival in the city and at Alun Parry’s folk club recently and always look forward to being in Liverpool.”
It’s funny, the more the music industry fragments and selling records (or not) steals the highlights, the more performers like Bailey continue to thrive.
They connect, you see: word of mouth and all of that.
It’s only a few hundred years or so ago that musicians started to expect financial and celebratory awards for what they do…
to some, it was never a career choice. Just a calling.
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