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Midget Funk To Folk You Up!

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Friday, 4pm, sitting in a car while the rain beats down all around and I ring Wallis Bird armed with a notepad and a tape recorder. That’s hardcore journalism right there! Bird is as usual chirpy, pleasant and there is a constant air of devilment in her voice. We swapped stories, my favourite of which being how she blagged her way into Witness a few years ago with a blue shopping bag masquerading as an armband for the 3 day camping event. The imp. Then the professional work began and I asked her how the tour was going so far?

Good, all good so far. We started in Kilkenny and we had Meath last night. And tonight, I’m playing the hometown, Wexford. So all good so far, I’m enjoying it.

If you had to pick, do you prefer playing solo or with the band?

 If I had to choose? Oh, god don’t ask me that. Em, I like touring solo because it gives you a chance to strip back the songs to the skin and bone. And the audience hear just the music and the lyrics. But I also really enjoy touring with my band because if you’re all there you can have the crack. And with songs, you can have long jams and they can go on forever. Solo gigs kind of restrict you and you have to keep it basic.

Hometown gig? Are you nervous, happy or indifferent?

 Well, I’m surely not indifferent! No, happy, definitely happy. I’m really looking forward to it. And my brother Edgar is opening up for me with his band, Sticky Digit. They’re doing a short set before me. He really didn’t want to do it. But I said, “Ah, go on man, just do it!” He agreed and I am going to embarrass the s*** out of him tonight. He’s in for it.

Can we expect any surprises in the set list?

 Actually a few new songs will crop up in the set tonight. But there will also be some really old stuff, from years ago. So hopefully, there’ll be a nice mix of old and new material!

You’ve been writing some stuff then. How’s that going for you?

 Yea, been recording a few tracks in different places all over the world. Some in my home place, Brixton and some wherever I can meet my producer! And we’ve been recording on laptops, tape machines and in the studio. So it’s going to be a real patchwork of an album! And it should be out next March!

As we wind down the interview, I wish Wallis well with the hometown gig and I ask her how she would feel if I branded her music “Midget Funk.” Which results in heavy laughter and permission to use it? So, you heard it here folks, Bird has created her own genre, “Midget Funk”. And it will indeed folk you up!


Written by thepanch

May 14, 2011 at 8:09 am

Posted in Music

Tagged with , , ,

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