Introducing Gavin Chappell-Bates

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I’d like to tell you about Gavin Chappell-Bates who is a musician that I have been supporting for a while now through my social media sites. I was first introduced to his music when he ask me to check out his video for the song ’95’. If I am honest on the first watch I thought it was OK but there was something about it that made me watch it again and when I did, I really appreciated the talent that Gavin has to offer. I was impressed with his sound which he says ‘ shape shifts from acoustic balladry to punk to Britpop to alternative rock anthems’. After that I found out that he had released the EP ‘Black Holes’ and that he was working on his debut album ‘We are the Ones’. This album has now been released and I will talk about it more later in the post.

This is the part where I share some information about this singer songwriter from Cambridge but I am going to hand you over to Gavin himself. I had the opportunity to chat with him about his music and a little more, this is what he had to say:

Who or what inspired you to become a musician and which musicians have influenced your sound? 

The two things that really set me on this course were The Beatles and some friends who played guitar. Amazingly, at Junior School we did a project on Sgt Pepper’s (see they do teach useful stuff in schools) and it really opened me up to a world beyond novelty pop music made for children. I fell in love with the Beatles and music properly at that point. At the same time, I had two friends who were both becoming musicians. One seemed to be able to play like Hendrix straight away and the other always felt like a young McCartney to me. Seeing what they could do really made me want to pick up a guitar, although I became a completely different type of musician to them.

You have a great song writing talent, do you have a set process when writing songs?

Thank you very much. I don’t have a set process. Quite often I’ll sit down with my guitar and play around for a bit; if there is anything I like then that might unfold into a song. I often also have lyrics in my head or ideas I want to convey so I’ll be writing those down all the time. Follow The Light (from the album) was the first time I’d sat down to write a song and everything came together in a matter of minutes. Whereas Starlight, a song I knew I need to write for Ali (my wife), took over six months of writing terrible songs before I finally got to something I was happy with.

Album two will be a completely different process as well as I already have the ideas for all of the songs on that so I’ll have a set theme for each one, and the overall album, that I’ll be writing to.

Talking about writing songs, which is your favourite from your album and why?

Very hard to pick just one so I’m going to rebel and pick two. I would say first of all ‘We Are The Ones’ because I think that felt like a personal shift in my song writing ability and a move towards something much more positive, uplifting and anthemic. Alongside that I would also say Starlight. They were written at very similar times and are both very significant for me as a musician and a person. Starlight specifically because it relates to a movement away from a life controlled by depression and anxiety to being really happy with who I am now, thinks greatly to my wonderful wife Ali.

If you go to the pub with any two musicians (dead or alive), who would it be and why? 

Tricky again but first off would have to be Richey James Edwards. Whether he is alive or dead he has had such a profound influence on me that it would be an honour to talk with him (although I suspect he’d be far too clever for me). He comes across as such a beautiful, eloquent and intelligent man. I’d love to find out more about his lyrical ideas and visions.

I think I’d go for Buddy Holly for number two. Firstly I’d tell him to listen to his wife and not get on that plane and secondly it would be amazing to meet such a pioneer of music and find out what it was like writing, recording and gigging in the 50s.

What are you future plans and goals for your music? 

At the moment all the focus is on promoting the album. After that there will probably be a couple more singles and videos and then I can start thinking about album number two which I am desperate to get cracking on. I’m going to try and look at this in a completely different way so I’m quite excited about it all. I’d like to do a few gigs overseas as well.

‘We are The Ones’ is a very impressive album from Gavin Chappell-Bates which includes all the songs from his previous EP. On the surface it gives you this great indie sound that has a great variation in tempo to ensure that there is something for everyone. The first song, and personal highlight, ‘Church of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ shows off his infectious indie rock side. I like how this demonstrates his edgier sound that grabs the listeners attention from the get go, especially with it’s sing-along hook. 1794667_1113510128699130_4983571228769965746_nThere are many songs throughout this album with this sound, but he can also deliver a delicate tone. A great example of this is the outstanding song ‘Writing in the Sand’. I have a lot of love for this song which for me also gives us one of my favourite vocals performances from Gavin. The vocals have a good range even though they are a little rough around the edges at times but there is no denying his talent. His tone glides perfectly on this song as it shares his story which has great support from his acoustic guitar. You have to tip your hat to the musical arrangement for each song as he is able to give each song it’s own sound with it’s own personality.

As much as his music offers so much it is Gavin’s lyrical talent that originally caught my attention, and since then it has gone from strength to strength. I know from speaking to him any many occasions that he is a big fan of the band Feeder (me too) and these guys know how to write a catchy hook. Gavin has learned this gift too as his music is filled with killer hooks that will have you singing-along. He also has a great grasp of telling stories through his music. No song shows this more than my favourite song ’95’. It talks about a time with special memories to Gavin and the way he talks about it makes me think about similar moments in my life. It also has a nice balance between the acoustic and electric guitar which gives this song that extra charm.

Overall, this album was more than I expected from Gavin Chappell-Bates and it is filled with so many great songs that will capture a lot of peoples attention. Do yourself a favour and have a trip to his Bandcamp page (click HERE) to give ‘We are The Ones’ a listen in full. If you get hooked like I did then you can purchase a copy while you are there.

With what Gavin has released so far and the way he talks about the new album, the future is looking great for him. If you want to follow his progress with his music, gigs and more then head over to his website at GavinChappellBates.com. You can also find him at his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter, where you can also so hello as he likes to chat with his fans. As always, a little reminder that you should support the music that matters by spreading the word. If you are now a fan of Gavin Chappell-Bates then tell the world about him today.