Concerts + Constellations: An Interview With Sam Lyon

After the adrenaline from her UK headline tour cooled down, I got to chat to one of my best friends in the music industry about tour life:

MG: So Sam, now that your UK Tour has wrapped up last week, have you had chance to reflect on it? How has it been?

SL: I’ve loved it, it seems a shame to see it come to an end! I’ve just loved the opportunity of being able to play for new audiences in cities I’ve never visited before. It’s been a great experience, tough going at times, but definitely rewarding.

MG: Speaking of playing cities you’ve never visited, how tough was it to organise? Were venues more receptive of you or did some reject you on account that you didn’t have that local fanbase?

SL: It was very tough in the planning stages. I’m completely aware that I’m an unsigned artist with not a huge nationwide following, so in a fair few cases, that was exactly the problem I faced. A lot of venues weren’t willing to take artists on if they couldn’t guarantee that they were going to bring a large crowd, even though I also tried to book local support acts to encourage more of a local audience. I made the effort to also book small venues for that reason. Not only that, but I also much prefer smaller venues anyway as intimate gigs, for me, feel much nicer to play. You can interact with the audience a lot more, and people get to know you more as a personality as well as just a musician, and that’s what I like. My music is written from a very personal angle, so I love the idea of people getting to know me as a person as well, and having that chance to see where my songs stemmed from.

MG: I can understand that completely. You had some wonderful support acts throughout your tour, how did you choose your support? Were they all people you’d worked with prior?

SL: Megan Dixon Hood supported me for the majority of my dates. I met Megan when I studied music at college, and absolutely fell in love with her music from the very first time I heard it. I play her CDs all the time, and just admire her so much as a songwriter. Since we both have a slightly similar style, I couldn’t think of anyone better to have along for the tour, as I felt both our music on one lineup would really make for a great intimate atmosphere. I also had Jon Coley support a couple of dates. Jon is another exceptional songwriter who I’ve seen performing many, many times. His style, again, was just perfect for an intimate acoustic show. Gigi Birch, Katy Galloway, Kyle Ross, and Danny Buckley are all artists that I have also heard on several occasions, and with each of them being based in different locations, it made for an effortless decision to have them support me in each city. Eleri Angharad was the only artist on the whole tour of which I’d never had the opportunity to catch live prior to booking it. However, she’d been recommended to me very highly by people in the area, so I had no option but to check her out. I followed her page for a while and had a listen to her tracks and videos, and thought she’d be wonderful for joining the lineup!

MG: That’s great to hear, and this whole tour has been to promote your new EP Comets and Constellations, how has the EP been going so far? How has it developed from your previous EPs?

SL: That’s right. I think with this new EP, as with each EP before it, I’ve been developing my sound and still finding my feet with the direction I want my music to go in. This latest record turned out so much better than I imagine, and I’m so happy with it. It was a joy recording it too as I’m good friends with everyone that played on it, so I’m glad that it came together so well. With the tracks on this new record, I wanted to venture out a little more from my comfort zone. I was forever watching other musicians, and seeing how talented they were on their instruments, but I always just stuck with pretty simple chords because I was confident I couldn’t go wrong with them. But, by doing that, I didn’t feel like I was really progressing, everything felt like I was at the same level all the time. So, I really knuckled down on my guitar playing and managed to come up with these new tracks, which are completely unlike anything I’ve written before in terms of the instrumentation, which I was over the moon about. The EP seems to have gone down really well, and even when I play the tracks acoustically at shows, people love the musicality aspect of them now, which is something that never even got a mention before!

MG: Fantastic news, I hope it continues to succeed, thank you for taking the time today.

You can listen to Sam’s new EP here:

Marc Gallagher