A word that’s oft-ascribed but very seldom deserved these days is: ‘legend’. In our ersatz and homogenised times, if you don’t consider Tom Hingley one, you probably have worryingly woeful taste in music, and so by extension you should move along, nothing to read here.
Tom’s most famous and impressive usp is, of course, that voice. As hard and as rich as aged walnut if the song demands it, but with his range he could serenade a virgin at vespers, and although this is admittedly an unlikely scenario; hopefully you get the point.
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There’s a Bob Dylan song you’re probably acquainted with called ‘When I Paint My Masterpiece. Bearing this in mind, which piece of work that you have produced are you most proud of and why?
My first solo record: Keep Britain Untidy (2000) is possibly considered my best solo effort. It contained five songs I’d written to record with the Inspiral Carpets, which were never released. It’s just very good and my voice sounds ‘younger’!
Do you have a ‘tried & tested’ process you employ when you write, or is there usually a more ‘organic ‘method?
There’s no ‘one way’ as such, but I only usually write when I’ve lived through a period of experiences that encourage me to compose. Thematically this is usually around the subjects of politics and emotions and hopefully with an evolving sense of humour. This is usually when the wife & kids are away & I can belt out the guitar and singing on my own at home.
Was this work entirely your own endeavour or were there any co-compositions?
All my own work!
Does it define you in some respects?
I some ways yes, as it can be autobiographical. In some ways no, it doesn’t define me in that it’s art and therefore glorified imagining; or fancy.
Was it ‘commercially successful’?
Depends on your definition of ‘commercially successful’. It’s sold over five thousand copies over the last sixteen years, so it won’t compete with Robbie Williams. But who wants to?
Are the lyrics primarily auto-biographical and if so does this mean that you are a narcissist at heart?
Of course! All musicians and blaggers are staring at their reflection and drop-ing ping the bone..
Do you perform your ‘finest hour’ live, and if so what does this bring to it if anything?
Some of the songs yes, but I always like to mix it up.
Are you ever tired of performing it/them because it’s expected of you?
Yes, of course, everything gets tiring sometimes. Three people came to a gig last week that were gakked and drunk. Suddenly, they decided to pick a fight on me, because they were stuck in their own drug and drink reality. I just folded up like a sea shell and went home. Now that was tiring!
My personal favourite from your oeuvre is a solo track called *’Happiness’. Any thoughts on my choice?
It’s a good track, I agree. Thanks.
Tom Hingley, thanks for your time.
Rahman the Writer ((c) 2016 http://www.rahmanthewriter.com)
Tom Live : A Winter Warming Land: Tom Hingley & the Kar-pets and the Tom Hingley BandThe Ruby Lounge Friday 16th December 2016 – tickets:http://www.therubylounge.com/index.php/shows/a-winter-warming-land-featuring-the-kar-pets-tom-hingley-bandhttps://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Manchester/The-Ruby-Lounge/A-Winter-Warning-Land/12798442/