A chat with Pete Falloon and Phil Cooper
Phil Cooper is a British singer-songwriter, based in the West Country of the UK. I first came across his finely crafted tunes through GreenLight Unplugged , a brilliant project that aimed to bring together new original acoustic artists in Devon and the South West UK to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support by putting on gigs, and filming performances, which were judged by an industry panel to select tracks to be recorded for a fundraising CD. Phil is full of energy, zest, and great tunes, so it is great to be able to introduce him to you. So, without further ado...
Shake It Up is taken from Phil’s forthcoming album, Thoughts and Observations. It’s a catchy little upbeat retro guitar pop number, tinged with the vibes of Green-era R.E.M., The Wonderstuff and Crowded House and his own unique stamp! We’re delighted to share the video here on Setlist Indie Music, and is apparently what happened when he walked around Bristol city, instruments in hand, and asking folks to join in his song! It looks like he had no shortage of takers - enjoy the video here and find out more about Phil below!
Tell us a bit about yourself.. Where you’re from and what got you into making music?
I’m a West Country (England) lad, and I’ve lived on the Wiltshire side of the Wilts/Somerset border my whole life, although music now takes me all over the place. I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life, because my Dad’s been playing guitar since the 60s and my older brother plays too (he’s a great blues guitarist, but plays bass in my occasional backing band). I was also lucky enough to have a really good music department at school. It saddens me to see the decline of arts in education!
Imagine I’ve never heard you before - what does your music sound and feel like?
It’s relatively timeless guitar pop... catchy, foot tapping, feelgood music but with a social conscience. I’m proud of my recordings, but the live show is where I shine. My shows are inclusive, friendly and creative for everyone. In this digital age, I want to make my shows a real experience, something you couldn’t possibly download.
What are your main musical influences?
I learned guitar by playing along to Buddy Holly, so I guess he’s my first influence, but then I got into Crowded House (My all time favorite band). Britpop was happening in my teens so that definitely shines through in my music too.
What inspires you most, other than music?
In equal measure, the beauty of nature and human connections. I love walking through nature whenever I can, and I’m lucky that touring means I’m able to see more parts of the country (and sometimes the world) than I would otherwise. Several songs on my latest album were written after walking about in the Scottish highlands. I guess it just puts me in a creative space. I’m also a keen observer of human behavior, which informs my lyrics. I’ve always had a reasoned and analytical brain, and I take as much knowledge as I can and try to make sense of it. My songs are often a way that I can make sense of the world, or try to.
What are you promoting at the moment?
I have a new album out on 13th April, called “Thoughts & Observations” (as if to hammer home my previous answer!). I’m super proud of it and will be touring it heavily around the UK, and then later in the year, Canada.
What did you listen to today?
I’ve been doing the facebook “10 albums in 10 days” thing and used Odelay by Beck today. That set me off on a trip of listening to his back catalog, so I’ve listened to nothing but Beck today so far!
Any recommendations for hot new acts to look out for?
I’m lucky that I get to play alongside loads of great acts, and as much as I’d love to list them all here, I just couldn’t, so it will have to be a select few. If you like what I do, you’ll definitely like my good friend “Jamie R Hawkins”. There’s a great Americana duo called “Limerance” I met in Liverpool, and a superb 70s influenced rock outfit called Austin Gold from Peterborough. Apologies to literally every other act I’ve played with for not including you!
Finally, what are you planning over the next year?
Having locked myself away for months to make the latest album, I’ve realized how much I love touring, so the next year I hope to be constantly on the road. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be heading back to Canada for my second tour over there which is darned exciting.
Thanks for tuning in,
P.s. you can find and follow Phil on all platforms at the links below.