Glyn Bailey interview


Glyn Bailey lives in Poulton; a place which has nice pubs. He is also a pretty decent singer song writer and member of the band Glyn Bailey and The Many Splendid Things.

His third album The Disturbance is out now and has been reviewed by Red Rose.

We sat down with him to discuss all things Glyn.

So Glyn, tell us a bit about your musical past and how the band came together?

I started doing music many years ago and at that time I couldn’t really write songs but the spirit was willing and the ability wasn’t there. So anyway I was in bands and err doing clubs and cabaret bars. Then gave that up to raise a family and do the usual job. After a while I dusted off the guitar and I tried to write and gradually picked it up through trial and error. And then came the point of having a live band.

You say you struggled to write songs, how easy it to do it once you know how?

It depends on the song I guess and the market your working in. To write a good song is never easy! Saying that you get examples like where McCartney wakes up and he has written “Yesterday” in his sleep, I think the initial impulse for a song, so say a melody always comes pretty quickly and then to knock it in to shape takes time, effort and trial and error. Like any piece of art I suppose.

How do you cope juggling a normal job with being in a band? Do they clash?

Well yeah I read something about this recently, it was ten things you need to do to give yourself a chance in the music business and one of them was to give up your day job and do this full-time, which for me and many people is a non starter because you have responsibilities and it is difficult to say, ‘I’m going to give this up and do this now…’

Does music as a part-time interest make you a little money on top or is it now a loss maker? 

Oh it is most definitely a loss maker, even more so these days, I mean there are means of making money in music. You join a tribute band or a party functions band, there’s lots of music in that market.

What was the moment for you that you decided you wanted to become a musician? Something you saw or something that happened?

Erm, I don’t think there was any one thing, but when I grew up it was an exciting time to be around music. The scene had phenomenal artists with a huge change from what had gone before so even to see these people on top of the pops was huge. I mean in those days you either wanted to be a footballer or a pop star, that was it. Nowadays people just want to be famous…

Was there one particular artist that you listened to and thought, I want to be like them?

Well it’s corny but it is true, I would have to say The Beatles.

*At this point Manchester City score against Tottenham and the pub goes mad and I lose my professional manner.*

Your latest album is The Disturbance, which is out now, what has the reaction been like? 

Well the reviews have overall been good which I am pleased, some really good comments. I mean whatever you send out for review, If 20% say something about it, you have done well! Though I would take a bad review over nothing at all….

You have done three albums now is there one comment that still sticks in your mind from throughout three albums of reviews?

I think probably the first detailed review of my first album. I had been away on holiday and the reviews were dying off a bit and read my emails and found this review which was published and was really positive and that was indication because I put out the first album not knowing…anything! I put the album out and hadn’t done any gigs with the stuff, I hadn’t even played it with friends…just bang it out there! Playing to friends is a waste of time, whereas strangers have no gripes about telling you that you are awful.

You put the first album out having played the songs to no one and received no feedback, how much have you changed as an artist since there?

Well I think everyone changes, life just changes you. I haven’t consciously changed apart from this one has a band involved whereas the other ones it was virtually all myself and then guest artists doing extra instruments and now it has progressed to a full band, that was great to do.

You as an artist are described on your Facebook page as ‘impossible to pigeon-hole’ would you agree with that, and if so…why are you?

Well firstly someone else said it, I didn’t write it! It is for them to say but I think what they mean is that if you say for example this band are ‘metal’ you know what you are going to get, but I think they think with me that you listen to one song and you think you have it. But then another one changes your opinion and then the third one changes it again.

All musicians would claim to be unique in some way but did you set out to be ‘impossible to pigeon hole’ or did it just happen?

Well I think the route to being different is to just be yourself, that is the route to originality. But always in the back of your mind is what you are probably doing is stealing bits of what you have heard before (Laughs). I mean no one is truly unique.

One review of The Disturbance describes it as ‘original and haunting’ so do you believe in ghosts?

Erm, no sorry to disappoint but I am a bit sceptical about things like that. I guess I would quite like to believe in things like that, the spirit world and all things surreal. I think humanity kind of needs that side of things but I don’t believe in ghosts throwing things across rooms and stuff. I mean there are enough strange things to solve without making up ghosts and UFO’s and all the rest of it.

Have you as a musician ever written a lyric that you think is inspirational or good advice or heard one from another band that inspires you?

Err well if you hear a piece of music and it can move you to tears or put a lump in your throat that is a phenomenon, that is real isn’t it? That is not just entertainment, there is something more going on there, Various people have done it over the years to me, for example Nick Cave. I think when I was young “Imagine” for many years was the one, everything about the sentiment of the song was spot on. The trouble is Lennon died and it got really over played and became a bit of a cliché. If he hadn’t been bumped off it would be okay, I mean every world of it I believe in it! Of course people don’t live like that, so it is bullshit..(laughs)

Your album The Disturbance has been described as a ‘musical journey’ what is the best journey (either spiritual or a holiday) that you have been on?

Well I have been lucky to travel a lot so it would be difficult to pick out a favourite, been to some interesting places! Vegas, Hawaii and Cuba…Oh, flying over the Nevada desert was a strange experience because it looked like the surface of Mars all cracked and red!

There have also been some wonderful sunsets!

So what is going on at the moment, new recordings? gigs? both…tell us!

Well the material needs promoting so that is what we are gigging with and actually we are having a bit of a debate about that and the fact that no one is buying plastic CD’s anymore…they are downloading and probably for free as well (laughs)

I suppose that is why this X Factor thing is still going because it makes money…

But anyway you asked about what we were doing, well I carry on writing all the time rather than picking a time and going ‘I am writing a song tonight!’ Sometimes the ideas come two or three at a time. I mean recording and demo-ing is time-consuming so that is always going on.

Also, we have a new song called “Fleetwood Man” because it is the 175th anniversary as a town since some rich guy started the town. So a lady contacted me and asked if I had anything suitable so err I researched Fleetwood and got a feel for it and wrote a song.

Coincidence or deliberate pun on ‘Fleetwood Mac?’

Maybe subconsciously it is but I didn’t set out for it to be.

If there was one song ever you wish you had written, what would it be?

Probably Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jacques Brel.

If you could be any food, what would you be and why?

Probably a healthy crisp salad! People should eat more salad and they should eat more of me!

Giraffe or tortoise?

Oh easy! Tortoise because my granddad said it was the family symbol, when I was a boy we used to have them and a giraffe would be damaging in the back garden.

You can find Glyn, his gigs and his music online at:!/glynbaileyandthemanysplendidthings


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