30 seconds with... The Lake Poets

This week M spends 30 seconds with Martin Longstaff, the man behind The Lake Poets. They make "honest, haunting & moving" acoustic/indiefolk music.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 14 Oct 2011
  • min read
This week M spends 30 seconds with Martin Longstaff, the man behind The Lake Poets. They make ''honest, haunting & moving' acoustic/indiefolk music.

How long have you been making music?
I've been playing live as The Lake Poets since April 2010, so for just over a year. I started writing songs four or five months before that. The death of my grandfather made me realise that life is fleeting & that you must strive to do what makes you happy so I started gigging. I've been enjoying playing live & making music ever since, being lucky enough to support the likes of Willy Mason, The Futureheads, Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly, & Ben Howard, as well as play Glastonbury & tour the UK.

What inspired your latest single/EP/album?
The latest release is a three-song demo called Alter'.  It consists of songs slightly altered from their original form, namely two songs from local bands that I love & inspire me, i.e Short Term, Long Term by This Aint Vegas, and Leaving Do by Nev Clay. It also contains a remix of my most popular original song Windowsill by one of my favourite Newcastle bands 'Young Liar' - It's a bit of a homage to the local North East music scene, which is very vibrant at the moment & inspires me massively. I also have an eponymous demo CD consisting of four original songs available online for free download.


What process do you go through to create your music?
I tend to come up with a theme for the song first, recently I've been writing about loss & the sacrifices that must be made to become an adult, e.g giving up on certain dreams, hopes & ideals in order to make a life for yourself. This could perhaps be construed as a bit miserable but it's something we all face. I'll come up with the lyrics after that & then the melody just by trial & error on my Acoustic, hoping that something good will come from the musical ether & strike me!


How would you describe your sound?
It's odd trying to describe my own music, I just write what comes out of my head & sing what I think sounds good. Others have described it as "honest & beautiful, with the power to have you dancing & weeping to the same note" as well as  "stunningly affecting and haunting, incorporating delicate finger-picked guitar, beautiful melodies and moving, intelligent, thought-provoking lyricism" - flattering & very humbling, but who am I to argue!

What would your dream collaboration be?
A dream collaboration for me would be with either Johnny Cash, a massive influence on me not just musically but also sartorially, or a magnificent female vocalist like Billie Holiday or Jo Stafford, excellent voices & timeless songs. Sadly though, a collaboration with them would be just a dream as they are sadly no longer with us, but not forgotten.



Where can we catch you performing next?
You can usually catch me playing with my band at either the Cluny in Newcastle, or Independent in Sunderland, but not for much longer as the lads & I are taking a few months off from playing live to write & record our first proper single release ready for winter/early next year, something we are very excited about!


Free Music Downloads

'Windowsill - Live at The Tunstall Hill Sessions'


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