(SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #70: Huw Williams of The Melodic

By on Friday, 28th February 2014 at 11:00 am

For the next couple of weeks leading up to SXSW 2014, we’ll be running a special version of the TGTF Quickfire Questions, served up SXSW style with an extra couple of questions to get inside bands’ heads so they’ll tell us what they really think of the event. In numero seven of this series ahead of the activities in Austin next month, frontman and guitarist Huw Williams of The Melodic tells how he and his band plan to introduce Americans to “the beautiful game”, among other things that are musical in nature, we can assure you!

Read Carrie’s Bands to Watch feature on the Melodic here.

SXSW-related questions:

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
We’re getting put up for the week by a band from Austin called Mother Falcon, who we met on tour last year in LA, they have nearly 20 members so it should be a bit of a party and hoping they will be able to show us a good time in Austin, Southern hospitality and all that. We came through last year as a freak ice storm hit and our outdoor gig had to be moved inside so we had a pretty cold and wet stay, looking forward to seeing it in the warmer times.

Are there any bands that you have as must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
Guess we’re most excited about seeing Malian band Tinariwen who we will be playing a showcase with: we’ll be touring with them for the rest of March and April, so I’m excited to see them live as have been a big fan of their music for ages and have heard great things about their live show. I’m also looking forward to seeing some of the British acts that have made it over for the festival will be great to see some friendly faces so far from home, Nick Mulvey and Cocos Lovers especially.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
John (our bass player) always likes to bring a football (soccer ball) on tour with us to kick around at the petrol (gas) stations when filling up to the annoyance of everybody else using the pumps- we’ll be hoping to introduce some American bands to the joys of England’s “beautiful game” at SXSW.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
I’ll have a cider please, John and Lydia on the red wine, James strictly tequila and Rudi a herbal tea. [I’m with you, Huw. If you find a decent place that serves cider, give me a shout! – Ed.]

(For bands who are SXSW newbies) What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I’ve heard great things, sounds like an extremely hectic week where people play a crazy amount of shows and run themselves into the ground, so just hoping to enjoy as much music as possible and survive and be in fit shape to complete the rest of our tour afterwards, we’ll be touring solidly ’til May so gonna be hardcore but excited to see so many places in the US we haven’t been before.

And now, on to our usual TGTF Quickfire Questions:

What song is your earliest musical memory?
My Dad used to sing folk songs at bedtime to me and my brothers when I was a little scamp and I would always get him to sing ‘Dirty Old Town’, so I guess that has to be the earliest song I can remember liking.

What was your favourite song as a child?

I just told you, man!

What song makes you laugh?
Anything by Canadian pop plonker Sean Nicholas Savage always gets me smiling, ‘Chin Chin’ my favourite, silly lyrics a plenty “kiss tiny chin chin in the morning….”.


What song makes you cry?
I’m far too emotionally repressed to cry to music, but the songs of Chilean activist-folk singer Victor Jara who was brutally murdered for his music are particularly moving even when you can’t understand the Spanish lyrics.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love?
‘Darlin Companion’ – Johnny Cash and June Carter.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry?
I get angry whenever i hear a song too much on radio; last summer whilst touring the States you couldn’t move for hearing Daft Punk‘s ‘Get Lucky’ and it all got a bit much, i initially thought it was a decent song but i just can’t deal with it anymore.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
Two folk songs by Dave Goulder impress me a lot, ‘January Man’ and ‘The Easter’ Tree have incredible lyrics and melodies that i doubt i will ever get close to. So much music from the ’60s I wish I could have written or been part of, love so much stuff written by Dylan, Ray Davies, Brian Wilson and Lennon especially.

Who is your favourite writer?
Bert Jansch, a Scottish folk/blues guitarist influential in the ’60s is my favourite musician, although I think he was great at making new arrangements of traditional folk songs and not necessarily writing them, although he wrote plenty of fantastic songs too, so he’s got to be up there.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I’ve always liked the idea of being able to craft things with my hands, working with wood especially, so a carpenter of some sorts or instrument maker would be something I think I’d find great pleasure in.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
Well it would have to be ‘Effra Parade’ by The Melodic, what a great debut album from London’s finest folk steppers 🙂

Many thanks, Huw, for answering our questions!

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[…] Carrie’s Bands to Watch feature on the band is here; frontman Huw Williams also answered our SXSW 2014 flavoured Quickfire Questions set here. […]

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