Interview – Emily Barker

Interview – Emily Barker

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Record store aficionado and local music lover Tom Matthews chatted with Emily Barker about her mammoth tour, oddest venues and her love of all things vinyl. 

Bafta and Novello award winning songwriter Emily Barker and her band The Red Clay Halo are playing at the Phoenix in Exeter this Thursday 14th November.

Emily’s autumn tour is going well.  She’s played gigs at the Globe in Cardiff ahead of dates in London, Leicester and Leeds. Emily must be about the busiest girl in town as she he has just returned from Nashville where she squeezed in a video session with Bob Harris between Americana festival gigs and after this 30 date tour she will be visiting Sweden and Norway with a brief stop-off to see family in Oz for Xmas. When I ask her about her highlights of the recent tour she describes “the smallest turn-out” at Ullapool (no I’ve never heard of it either). A former herring port in the highlands of Scotland surrounded by “stunning, beautiful lakes”. Small must be beautiful for Emily as the last time she played in Cardiff was at ‘Spillers’, famously the oldest established record shop in the world. That was on her tour of 21 record stores which also included Plymouth’s fiercely independent Last Shop Standing, Rise in Bristol, and the fantastic Drift Record shop down the road in Totnes.

photocredit:endoftheroadfestival.com
photocredit:endoftheroadfestival.com

Emily says “its great to be supportive of the record stores… I used to work at one. You always meet interesting characters and its a great insight into a community!” Sadly there was no visit to Exeter then and the last time Emily played round here it was for an even more intimate crowd of one! The conceptually slightly creepy “Folk in a box”- Britain’s smallest venue appeared last year at the Beautiful Days Festival (Exeter’s excellent answer to Glastonbury just 15 minutes from the centre of town). However with her hard earned reputation, a new album, a tight band and some great songs I trust I won’t be the only one in the room when she plays on Thursday.

Tom Matthews

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