Sensational jazz comes to Putney: Interview with Harry Collier

Wandsworth Guardian: Harry Collier Harry Collier

Sensational six-piece jazz outfit Harry Collier & Friends are coming to the Half Moon.

Having sold more than 250,000 records with his previous band Kubb, vocalist Harry Collier, spoke to Meg Kiseleva ahead of the gig.

Meg Kiseleva: What should the audience expect from the performance?

Harry Collier: A night of heartfelt music played and sung with honesty and passion. We really hope that the audience at this particular gig are up for letting their hair down, having a right laugh, and getting into the Christmas spirit with us. We'll be playing some jazz standards but in our own style, as well as a few originals and even a couple of really beautiful Christmas Classics
MK: What will be the biggest highlight of the night?

HC: I'm not sure yet as I usually only know the answer to that question in retrospect... Strange Fruit is always a special moment for me but I think some of our fans might be looking forward to hearing La Ritournelle or Wild Is The Wind… Plus we have some new songs we'll be playing which is always exciting.

MK: How different is it to perform for an audience of 100,000 people than to play in a club?

HC: It’s a massive difference... and I think I prefer the intimacy of a small club... big stadium gigs are always rather life-affirming by their very nature, but you can never see the whites of people's eyes... in fact most of the time you're being blinded by the light show and I've sometimes wondered whether people would still be screaming and having a great time regardless of the quality of the actual performance.

MK: Your way into the world of professional music does not seem easy. Was there a moment when you thought you would give up and do something else?

HC: At times it’s been a struggle to keep doing this, especially as I have a family to support, but I think it would break my heart to give up completely.

I suppose the path of least resistance is to not give up… even though sometimes it feels like I'm flogging a dead horse towards a brick wall that I'm gonna head-butt the shit out of.

MK: What would you do if you did not play music?

HC: Anything that would get me out swimming in the sea every day!!!

MK: What has been the most remarkable moment of your career so far?

HC: It was a faithless gig in Amsterdam… my birthday…and Maxi Jazz (from Faithless) got 40 thousand people to sing Happy Birthday to me...

MK: Is there any particular message in your music you want to pass to the audience?

HC: I often find myself torn between opposing forces... left/right... right/… grown man/lost young boy... I seem plagued by ambivalence and I find it cathartic when I get a bit of that feeling into a song.

MK: What is your biggest dream at the moment?

HC: I've dabbled for such a long time with so many different styles and situations... I would really love to find my way home, musically... and to feel safe there and accepted... I feel like I'm close.

Harry Collier, Half Moon, Lower Richmond Road, Putney, 8pm December 11 £12





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